Through philanthropy, Patrick Lee looks to improve global education
By Richard Westlund
Photo by Luke Copping
atrick Lee understands the power of education to change lives. Through his eponymous foundation, Lee has provided scholarships for students who are committed to serving their communities in their professional careers. Now, Lee is continuing that philanthropic commitment with a $250,000 endowment to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute’s Global Center for Ophthalmic Education.
“This gift is a powerful way to impact the field of ophthalmology,” said Steven J. Gedde, M.D., the John G. Clarkson Chair in Ophthalmology and vice chair of education for Bascom Palmer, which serves as the Miller School’s Department of Ophthalmology. “Through Mr. Lee’s support, we can train future generations of ophthalmologists, disseminate medical knowledge around the world, create an epicenter of learning, and help ensure that our graduates provide outstanding patient care.”
The Patrick P. Lee Foundation donation will support the virtual delivery of Bascom Palmer’s educational programs to students, physicians and other vision care professionals around the world, said Gedde, who has treated Lee for glaucoma for the past few years.
“I believe that Bascom Palmer is the No. 1 eye institute because of doctors like Steve Gedde,” said Lee. “He is a brilliant glaucoma physician who cares about his patients. He is also a great motivator and teacher, and this endowment will have a lasting impact on medical education.”
Lee’s gift will assist in the renovation of the Mary & Edward Norton Library of Ophthalmology to house Bascom Palmer’s global education center. “We are planning a conference room, offices for residents and fellows, study and lounge areas, as well as advanced telecommunication technology to create an epicenter of learning,” Gedde added.
“Mr. Lee’s generosity allows us to have a rich learning experience and improve patient care in our clinic,” said Benjamin Lin, M.D., Bascom Palmer Eye Institute ophthalmology resident. “Part of the fund will also fund expansion of the online education portal, which I often use to review prior cases to improve care for current patients. It’s an invaluable resource.”
A resident of upstate New York and South Florida, Lee founded Enidine, a Buffalo-based company that is one of the premier manufacturers of shock absorption and vibration isolation products, and International Motion Control Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of hydraulic, pneumonic and electromechanical components.
Lee recalls that he learned his first lessons in philanthropy from his grandmother, who gave what little she had to those in need. As a college student, Lee was assisted by the War Orphans’ Educational Assistance Program, which provided tuition assistance to the children of military men and women killed during World War II.
Lee credits education for providing the basis for his professional success, and his own foundation has always prioritized education as a key investment area.
Among many accolades, Lee was inducted into St. Louis University’s Smurfit-Stone Entrepreneurial Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012 and received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans in 2013.
To help, visit miami.edu/BascomGeddeEducation
Steven J. Gedde, M.D.