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Family medicine graduate, Dr. Katina Richardson gave her commencement speech at the seventh annual Brodes H. Hartley, Jr. Teaching Health Center graduation ceremony as her fellow graduates shared proud smiles, reflecting on their transformative residency.
“Our paths were not easy, and the challenges were immense, but it was in these moments that we discovered our true strengths, resilience, and commitment to our professions,” she said. “CHI has given us the tools to go out and make a profound impact in the lives of our patients and community.”
After three long years, their special day had finally arrived. The intimate ceremony held on June 10th at Pinecrest Gardens celebrated four family medicine residents and three psychiatry resident graduates. The incredible accomplishment stood as a testament of their determination, perseverance and appetite for knowledge and growth as medical professionals.
A reflection of Community Health of South Florida’s Inc. (CHI) commitment to community health care, this group of doctors showed the organization’s dedication to innovation and growth.
“The strength of our program is a result of these talented residents,” said President and CEO, Blake Hall. “We are so proud of you, and we love you.”
CHI’s Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Academic Officer of the Teaching Health Center, Dr. St. Anthony Amofah, smiled from ear to ear as he addressed the graduates in an emotional speech.
“Congratulations to the graduates, you did it!” he said. “We thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of your training. Graduation is not the end but rather, the beginning of a beautiful journey for you.”
Keynote speaker, Chief Medical Officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers, Ron Yee and Florida State Representative, Alina Garcia, also provided touching sentiments to the graduating residents during the ceremony.
The residents faced unique challenges during their residency, most notably a global pandemic that changed resident training and their patient care approach. However, through it all, they were able to adapt seamlessly and become better professionals.
As one class celebrated their accomplishments, CHI then welcomed the newest resident graduates on June 26, 2023. The White Coat Ceremony was the Teaching Health Center’s ninth incoming class since its start in 2014.
With five family medicine and five psychiatry residents, the ceremony signified an incredible milestone in their career. The room buzzed with anticipation as residents and their proud family and friends eagerly awaited the special moment. Dr. Amofah welcomed them and noted the significance of the moment.
“We are very grateful that we get to celebrate this important milestone with you,” he said. “Faculty and program leadership reviewed about 2,500 applications to select the 10 of you. So, it is a big deal that you are here today, for you and for us.”
Psychiatry resident Dr. Thaimy Del Prado expressed her elation to begin her journey as a practicing clinician in her hometown of Miami.
“I am excited about meeting new people,” she said. “I’m looking forward to expanding my medical knowledge and giving back to my community.”
As each resident donned their white coats, Dr. Amofah left them with an important message.
“As you put on this white coat today, it is important that you don’t see it as a symbol of power and authority,” he said. “When you put it on, we want you to remember it is a symbol of service to humanity. This white coat must represent big hearts, compassion, empathy, and professionalism.”