TAMPA: With an aim of developing an osteopathic medical school, Indian American physician Dr. Kiran Patel, chairman of Tampa, Fla. based Freedom Health has purchased the former Clearwater Christian College property.
Clearwater Christian College, founded in 1966, closed its doors a year ago with shrinking enrollment, increased debt and a lack of endowments.
Dr Kiran Patel, M.D. is the Chairman and President at Freedom Health, Inc. Dr. Patel is also the Chairman and President of Optimum Healthcare, Inc. He is a Board-Certified cardiologist. He is the founder of the Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel Family
Dr patel born to Indian parents, Patel grew up in Zambia and attended medical school in India, where he met his wife, Pallavi Patel.
The couple moved to Tampa in 1982 and has since donated millions to local causes, including $26 million to the University of South Florida; $5 million for a conservatory at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts; and $3 million for a research institute at Florida Hospital Tampa. They’ve built hospitals in India and Zambia.
The Indian American physician recently closed on the $12 million purchase of the 25-acre campus overlooking Old Tampa Bay at the west end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
If his plans are fulfilled, Patel will develop the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, catering to both domestic and international students, especially from India and Africa, who otherwise could not afford medical training, according to a media report.
One goal, he said, is to train doctors who can return to their home countries and treat undeserved communities.
The hope is for the school to serve upwards of 150 students by the fall of 2018 or early 2019, following the credentialing and certification process.
Patel estimates it could cost $50 million to launch the school, most of which will come from his own pockets, although having existing classroom infrastructure and dormitories significantly reduces costs.
Mayor George Cretekos described Patel’s proposed development as a “boon for the city.”