When historians have written their dissertations on 20th-century South Florida and the ink has dried on the pages of the books that will line library shelves for generations that follow, there will emerge a small group of men and women who are recognized as having had the greatest influence on our community.
Bernard J. Fogel is one of them. An accomplished physician, inspirational leader, unflagging friend and trusted mentor to so many, he set a shining example of how to live one’s life.
Dr. Fogel played a critical role in shaping public-health services for 4 million people from the Florida Keys to the Palm Beaches. His expert stewardship and astute development of the University of Miami medical practice — and his loyal commitment to forging a strong partnership with Jackson Memorial Hospital — helped lay the foundation for the superb clinical and research endeavor that operates today.
As an academic dean of the highest caliber, he was responsible for the education of generations of physician-scientists who now practice around the world with the confidence rooted in their superb UM/Jackson training. A highly respected pediatrician, Dr. Fogel saved and changed the lives of countless children who sought hope at UM when others could provide none. Parents all over the world remain grateful to him for the impact he has had on their families.
In his later years, Dr. Fogel became an accomplished fund-raiser, helping to generate tens of millions of dollars for the medical school. People trusted and believed in him and in the projects about which he was so passionate. They were eager to help him accomplish this noble work.
Most important, thousands of individuals whose lives intersected with his will know him as a remarkable human being: honest, inspiring, wise and committed. Bernie is a “mensch” in the truest sense of the word. And those who know him are richer for it.
On Jan. 17, his many accomplishments and remarkable contributions to our community were celebrated as he formally retired from his responsibilities. I know there are many who join me in thanking him for his friendship, his sage advice and his ever-present sense of humor, and who wish him the very best in this next chapter of his remarkable life.
Michael D. Foden, former executive director, Advancement, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami