For nearly 40 years, Stephen LaRosa, M.D. ’80, has cared for his community and the physicians following in his footsteps
By Karen Doss Bowman
Photography by Matt Odom
Stephen LaRosa, M.D. ’80
s a family medicine physician for the past 40 years, Stephen LaRosa, M.D. ’80, has built lifelong relationships with many of his patients. In fact, he now provides care for the children of many people he delivered at birth. For others, he has provided care and comfort at the end of life.
“That’s part of being a family doctor, providing care from cradle to grave,” LaRosa said. “To some extent as a family doctor, you’re sharing your life with patients as they are sharing their lives with you.”
Grateful for the superior education he received at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, LaRosa considers himself blessed to have learned from role models including John K. Robinson, M.D., the former longtime associate dean for student affairs, and Bernard J. Fogel, M.D, ’61, who was dean while LaRosa was in medical school.
“They were just gentle doctors and great people,” said LaRosa, whose father and brother were urologists. “When you’re a medical student, you have the good fortune to work with professors and residents and learn from their examples as they interact with patients and colleagues.”
For nearly 40 years, LaRosa has shown his appreciation for the Miller School by contributing to the John K. Robinson Scholarship Fund and alumni programs. He is a trustee of the John T. and Winifred Hayward Foundation, which is dedicated to researching and eradicating human genetic diseases and has funded the Genomic Medicine master’s degree program at UM since 2012.
LaRosa moved to North Florida after graduating from the Miller School to complete his family medicine residency at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. He practices with two classmates, Stanley Gwock, M.D. ’80, and Henry Gunter, M.D. ’80, with Capital Health Plan, a not-for-profit, multi-specialty health care network in Tallahassee.
LaRosa’s philanthropy is driven by a desire to see the Miller School continue as a national leader. And he believes that Hayward, a World War I British army lieutenant, engineer and avid yacht racer, as well as a family friend, would be pleased that his foundation now supports leading-edge research.
“It’s hard to believe that somebody born in the 1890s was so forward-thinking, but Mr. Hayward was ahead of his time,” said LaRosa. “He understood how engineering and genetic research were important for the future of medicine. I believe we are honoring his wishes, and I’m thankful because I feel loyal to this institution that has been so good to me.”
To support the Master’s Degree Program in Genomic Medicine Fund, please visit miami.edu/MSGenomicMedicine