University of South Florida


USF receives $1 million gift to support aging education and research

USF faculty and administrators receiving a $1 million check from Reliance Medical Centers

The University of South Florida today announced a $1 million gift from Reliance Medical Centers to the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and USF Health to support innovative programs that focus on geriatric health care.

The gift is made through the USF Foundation and builds upon the existing affiliation between USF and Reliance Medical Centers, a primary care provider for adults age 65 and older.  In 2019, Reliance founded the USF Optimal Aging and Brain Health Research Fund in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences and donated space in its Lakeland and Winter Haven medical centers to establish a local research presence.

“Reliance Medical Centers has become a valuable collaborator with the university’s research into positive aging, and we are so thankful for their continued and increased support to the health care profession in the community and at USF,” said USF President Rhea Law.

This latest donation from Reliance will extend across multiple schools and departments — including the USF College of Nursing, Morsani College of Medicine, Taneja College of Pharmacy, USF School of Social Work and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders — to accelerate developments throughout every component of senior care.

“This collaboration will help create innovative programs and provide Reliance the necessary pipeline of talent and research to support their core mission of improving every life they touch by treating the whole person,” said USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman.

Programs supported by the funds will have an emphasis on brain health, positive aging and geriatric medicine as well as internships, fellowships and scholarships for USF students.

“Reliance is proud to expand our affiliation with USF by supporting its growth and its research as well as its students and graduates who learn and work right here at our medical centers,” said Roberto Martinez, co-founder and co-CEO of Reliance Medical Centers. “Through this donation, we look forward to working with USF in the development of geriatric value-based health care programs that will make a difference for the future of senior care.”

Of the $1 million total, $400,000 will establish an operating fund named the Reliance Medical Centers Positive Aging Support in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences.

“The college is thrilled to be continuing this mutually beneficial relationship with Reliance Medical Centers. I look forward to seeing the great work that will be accomplished,” said College of Behavioral and Community Sciences Dean Julie Serovich.

The other $600,000 will establish an operating fund named the Reliance Medical Centers Positive Aging Support in USF Health.

“USF Health is proud to collaborate with community providers like Reliance Medical Centers, who share our commitment to innovating patient care through building strong health care teams,” said Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine. “This gift will allow us to further enhance our geriatric services and provide the highest-quality medical care.”

Reliance Medical Centers is dedicated to transforming senior health care by creating and implementing an eight-person Care Focus Team, led by a primary care physician and personal medical concierge, to deliver a personalized experience and additional support to every patient. Patients also receive access to a range of complimentary facilities and services, including the Wellness Club, Resource Center, transportation via a fleet of shuttles and wellbeing advisors who are licensed clinical social workers providing on-site emotional and behavioral support.

“Reliance’s dedication to promoting senior health and wellbeing, both within the practice and throughout the community, is one of the many ways it continues to transform the senior health care experience,” said Dr. Carlos Romero, co-founder, co-CEO and chief medical officer of Reliance Medical Centers. “We are grateful to continue our wonderful collaboration with USF as we work together to enable seniors to enjoy happier, healthier, more independent lives.”

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