University of Miami school of medicine establishes Endowed Chair with $3 million donation

by | Aug 26, 2022

  • The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine was able to establish an Endowed Chair following a $3 million donation from the Chen Family Foundation
  • The donation will be used in part to improve research and comprehensive care coverage at the university’s hospital system, aiming to propel the institution higher in national rankings 
  • The University of Miami hospital system serves as the only of its kind in South Florida, playing a vital role in the region’s healthcare coverage for citizens

The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine this week established an Endowed Chair to Advance Primary Care and Health Equity Research. The chair came to fruition following a $3 million donation from the Chen Family Foundation, a charitable organization started by the founders of ChenMed, a series of primary care clinics.

The Endowed Chair enables the Miller School’s Department of Medicine to recruit a leader with extensive experience in primary and population health care, allowing the University to become the leader in primary care and medicine among academic institutions. Once aboard, that expert will be tasked with researching and improving the way primary care is delivered, and health equity is advanced, throughout South Florida, according to the university.

“The foresight, leadership, and dedication of Dr. Chris Chen and his family will propel the University forward in our pursuit of health equity,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk. “We are incredibly appreciative of their generosity and partnership.”

The Chen family has a long history of receiving medical education from the University of Miami, spanning several generations, and led to a familial goal of facilitating a more accessible healthcare process. ChenMed is a concierge-style health care practice that serves as one of America’s most numerous health clinics. The company operates more than 100 primary care medical practices in 15 states, and with its emphasis on preventive care, the organization’s hospital admission rate is 30 to 50 percent lower than the national average.

“When we began building out ChenMed, we were very much aware of what the delivery system felt like from the other side of the glass,” said Dr. Chris Chen, CEO of Chen Med. “That drives many of our decisions: What would we want if we were in the patient’s shoes? Our goal was to deliver superior patient outcomes and a positive patient experience to a typically underserved population during the most vulnerable time of their lives.”

The University of Miami medical school serves as the only university hospital system in South Florida and ranks highly among its national peers. The university’s comprehensive care combines patient care, research, and education to create a front-line approach to health care.

“We are lucky to have Dr. Chris Chen’s expertise as a partner and are excited about the establishment of this new chair, which will enhance the way we look at primary care and how we can make it accessible to all members of our community, developing new models of compassionate delivery,” said Roy E. Weiss, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Medicine, Rabbi Morris I. Esformes, Endowed Chair in Medicine and Endocrinology, the Kathleen and Stanley Glaser Distinguished Chair, and chief medical officer for ambulatory services for UHealth. “We are proud to be partnering on such an important health initiative that will ultimately benefit residents throughout our community and beyond.”


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