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MEDIA CONTACT: Gisele Galoustian

Community Welcomes New Dean of FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Baldwin House Reception

BOCA RATON, FL (May 11, 2012) — More than 100 guests gathered at the Eleanor R. Baldwin House on Florida Atlantic University's Boca Raton campus to welcome Dr. David J. Bjorkman, M.D., M.S.P.H., the new dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, and to learn about the exciting programs taking place in Palm Beach County's first and only medical school. The reception was co-hosted by FAU President Mary Jane Saunders and FAU Provost and Chief Academic Officer Brenda Claiborne.

"I'm so glad that so many of you who represent our valued partners in the business and healthcare communities were able to come tonight to take part in this welcoming event for Dr. David Bjorkman," said Saunders. "Since his arrival several months ago, our College of Medicine has continued to move along its dramatic growth trajectory. Dr. Bjorkman's extensive experience in medical education, his great insight into the needs of medical students and his proven ability as a highly effective administrator make him the perfect leader to take the College into its next exciting phase of development."

Before coming to South Florida, Bjorkman was dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine from 2004 to 2011, overseeing 16 clinical departments and six basic science departments. He also served as executive medical director of the University of Utah Medical Group in Salt Lake City and professor of medicine in the department of internal medicine at the University of Utah. In his new role, he is taking the lead in the development of the Schmidt College of Medicine as it evolves to become a nationally recognized and world-class medical institution.

"It is such an honor to be here with you as we embark upon this 'once in a lifetime' partnership of building your new medical school, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine," said Bjorkman. "I am humbled by your support and would especially like to recognize Dick and Barbara Schmidt and the Schmidt Family Foundation for having given us all a gift that will benefit our families, friends and community for generations to come."

Guests at the reception included community leaders, members of FAU's Board of Trustees and Foundation Board, the Schmidt College of Medicine's board members, hospital CEOs and administrators, philanthropists, dignitaries from the City of Boca Raton, business leaders, and several medical students from the inaugural class of the Schmidt College of Medicine who had the opportunity to meet and thank supporters of the school's medical scholarship program.

The Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class in August 2011, and has received more than 3,000 applications from prospective students in Florida and around the nation for 64 positions in the next class of the medical school.


About the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine :
With the addition of one of America’s newest medical schools at FAU, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine is capitalizing on its existing strengths in basic, applied and translational biomedical research. Researchers in the College are addressing some of the world’s most pressing health challenges including aging, cardiovascular disease and stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, autoimmune diseases and HIV/AIDS. Housed in a $20 million, 95,000-square-foot facility funded by a gift from the Schmidt Family Foundation and state matching funds, the new medical school welcomed its inaugural class of 64 students in August 2011. The College has developed a new and innovative curriculum, which features early and continuous community-based clinical experiences and problem-based learning with emphasis on small-group and self-directed learning. The curriculum includes a student-centered and patient-focused approach and clinical experiences with local physicians, health departments and hospitals, and a state-of-the-art medical simulation center. A key component of the innovative curriculum is early exposure to patients and the actual practice of medicine. To that end, the College has established relationships with several prominent area hospitals that are serving as sites for clerkships, hospital-based electives and residencies. During clinical trainings, students have the opportunity to work side-by-side with physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, applying knowledge learned from the first two years of study to real-life situations.

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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