Dr. Susan Blumenthal Highlights WLP Symposium

TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 9, 2009) – The 2009 USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy (WLP) Symposium at the Tampa Convention Center attracted a large crowd greeted by University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft.


Some of Tampa Bay’s most illustrious women were on hand including U. S. Representative Kathy Castor, Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, USF Board Chair Rhea Law and former USF President Betty Castor, as well as WLP founding members Carol Morsani and Linda Simmons, WLP chair, and WLP supporters.


After an introduction by USF World Director Donna Petersen, Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal, M.D. provided a detailed diagnosis of the nation’s and the world’s major health care concerns in her keynote address. Before an audience of over 400 guests, she advocated for increased attention to prevention, reminding everyone, using Benjamin Franklin’s admonition, that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 


Noting USF’s prominence in the field of public health, Dr. Blumenthal told the audience that Americans’ health concerns are inextricably intertwined with global health concerns – pointing to the quick spread of contagious diseases like SARS and HIV/AIDS – and therefore should be addressed with equal force. She brought forth a wealth of statistical evidence on the state of health disparities both in the U.S. and around the world to raise awareness about the seriousness of potential pandemics and the drain on economies brought on by chronic disease.


Despite the gloomy picture, Dr. Blumenthal pointed out that there is hope for a brighter future based on technological advances and the public discussion on health care reform. She said the nation could not recover economically without reforming health care. Dr. Blumenthal’s speech ended with a standing ovation, followed by a question-and-answer session moderated by WFLA News Anchor Stacie Schaible.


Funds raised by this event go toward need-based scholarships. For more information about WLP, click here.


The University of South Florida System is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The system offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. It has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.