Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Dr. Scott Rivkees as the state of Florida’s Surgeon General on Monday, April 1st. Here is what state leaders and stakeholders are saying about the appointment:

“I have worked closely with Dr. Rivkees over the past six years as he has served as a member of the Board of Scientists Counselors for National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Serving as chairman for the past three years. Dr. Rivkees is a true physician, scientist and a great leader. He is a strong advocate for health care in general… In other words, you could not have chosen a better person to be the new Surgeon General for the state of Florida,” said Constantine Stratakis, M.D., D(med)Sci, Senior Investigator, NICHD, NIH, Head, Section on Endocrinology and Genetics, NICHD, NIH, Scientific Director, NICHD, NIH. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“It is with great pleasure that we write in strong support of your Surgeon General pick Dr. Scott Rivkees. We have found Dr. Rivkees to be a caring and hard-working man who is brilliant and a natural leader in the field of medicine. In the Florida Chapter of the AAP, he has been very active in mentoring medical students and residents in their research during our Annual Conferences. This extra job takes a lot of time, especially given his very busy schedule as Chairman of the largest Pediatric Department in the state. Yet, he does it annually with great joy,” said David Paul Robinson, M.D., FAAP, President Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Madeline M. Joseph, M.D., FAAP, FACEP, Immediate Past President, Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“Dr. Rivkees came into a department that had several personnel and operational issues. The department was in need of someone who could act as a change agent to promote the goals of the institution and he was given the mandate to improve the academic, educational and operational performance of the unit… I do believe he would make an outstanding Surgeon General. Dr. Rivkees by all measure has been successful in achieving the mandate he was given by the Dean when he was hired. He put the department on a sound financial footing by redesigning the inpatient and outpatient clinical services so that they could run more efficiently. He recruited outstanding clinicians to fill clinical needs so that we could continue to be the referral center of choice for sick children. He greatly expanded the research enterprise and the amount of federal funds earned by researchers. He supported the undergraduate and graduate medical education program and increased the number of highly qualified applicants applying to our residency program. He instituted a pediatric resident research meeting that is attended by residents from across the US. As part of a larger relationship strategy by UFHealth, Dr. Rivkees was tasked with oversight of the pediatric training programs at Orlando Health and at Sacred Heart in Pensacola. These programs have immensely benefitted from his leadership and are now on a firm footing and attracting excellent residents who will likely remain in Florida. By all measures, Dr. Rivkees has been a successful chairman of a major academic department… Dr. Rivkees really cares about the welfare of his patients. In his role as Surgeon General he will care about the welfare of the people of Florida,” said Timothy C. Flynn, M.D., FACS, Former Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of UFHealth, Gainesville, Florida. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“As President and Past-President of the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC), we wish to applaud you on your nomination of Dr. Scott Rivkees for Surgeon General of the state of Florida… He is an impeccable physician and a great leader,” said Sherin Devaskar, M.D., Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs President and Michael Artman, M.D., Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs Past-President, McLean, Virginia. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“I have worked closely with Dr. Rivkees on numerous occasions and have observed only professionalism, expertise and a deep commitment to bettering the lives of children and families. Dr. Rivkees is a respected national advocate, an enthusiastic collaborator, and an effective leader,” said Mark Del Monte, J.D., CEO/Executive Vice President (Interim) of American Academy of Pediatrics, Itasca, Illinois. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“Dr. Scott Rivkees is a talented physician who is well-equipped to advance the health and wellness interests of the state of Florida, and we look forward to the positive contributions he will make. With respect to the concerns some have raised in the past, the University of Florida assessed, addressed and resolved any issues to our satisfaction,” said Melanie F. Ross, Chief of Communications Officer, University of Florida Health. To see their full statement of support, click HERE.

“We have worked with Dr. Rivkees for the past five years on children’s healthcare issues and medical education. Dr. Rivkees is extremely knowledgeable and collaborative. He is passionate about children’s issues, and the health of all Floridians,” said Patricia Emmanuel, M.D., Lewis A. Barness Endowed Chair, Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Judy Schaechter, M.D., M.B.A., Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Chief of Science, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Health System, George E. Batchelor Endowed Chair in Pediatrics. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“This letter is to provide an overview of my tremendous respect and admiration for the contribution of Dr. Scott Rivkees to the Alachua County community… In mid-2018, Dr. Rivkees was concerned about the rising numbers of childhood suicides across the state of Florida and, specifically, in Alachua County. He organized a think-tank meeting of community expects, including the medical, law enforcement and school representatives to raise awareness and work toward identifying at-risk children locally and with state level entities. To me, his most amazing achievement were his tenacious efforts to ensure the co-location of services for children who have been sexually or physically abused and/or otherwise suffering from maltreatment or neglect. He was able to do what no one else had been able to accomplish in our area for over two decades,” said Sheriff Sadie Darnell, Alachua County. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“Dr. Rivkees is an accomplished practicing physician, scientist and academic leader currently serving as chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida. I have worked directly with Scott on many national research advisory committees, committees advising the National Institutes of Health as well as the Pediatric Public Policy Committee supported by the American Pediatric Society, the Society of Chairs of Academic Medical Schools, the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Scott is highly professional and extremely knowledgeable. He is thoughtful in his approach to policy and comes to each position carefully considering all points of view,” said Valerie Opipari, M.D., Ravitz Foundation Endowed Professor of Pediatrics, Professor, Pediatric Hematology Oncology, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan, Michigan Medicine Health System. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“I wish to congratulate you on your selection of Dr. Scott Rivkees as Surgeon General for your great state. Dr. Rivkees and I have worked together for the past decade and he has played an important role in mentoring several of my students who have found the experience with him transformative for their careers. The experience of working in Dr. Rivkees’ laboratories at either Yale University or subsequently the University of Florida has provided them with invaluable experience on the practice of research and science as well as with an unparalleled experience in personal attention beyond mere laboratory work … Dr. Rivkees is a physician who is held in high esteem in the field of pediatric endocrinology by patients and physicians alike. He has written a number of authoritative papers, some of which I was honoured to work on with him. He is held in high regard both in the USA and internationally and is consulted regularly by colleagues from around the world,” said Frederik Verburg M.D., PhD., Professor of Experiment Nuclear Medicine, Phillips-University Marburg, Head, Core Facility Molecular Imaging, Phillips-University Marburg, Deputy Chief, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Marburg University Hospital. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“Dr. Rivkees is an exceptional negotiator and polished statesman, tenacious but patient, and enviably well prepared for every issue on the table. He went to great lengths and worked tirelessly to accommodate the CAC’s needs as we pursued a shared goal of co-locating the Child Advocacy Center and Child Protection Team. On November 15, 2018, the CAC and CPT took part in a joint event celebrating successful co-location of the CAC and CPT, a feat which many felt was improbable, if not impossible. It was a very proud moment for all of us, but I can happily concede that it would not have been possible without Dr. Rivkees’ tremendous leadership and resolve… I strongly believe he has every quality befitting the position, and I look forward to what I trust will be many accomplishments during his tenure as Surgeon General for the great state of Florida,” said Lem Purcell, Past Chairman of the Child Advocacy Center, Inc., Gainesville, Florida. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“Dr. Rivkees is an excellent scientist who has spent decades working for the health of our nation’s children and families. He knows first hand what it takes to address their concerns, network with other leaders in the field, and advocate for the public health. As an addiction scientist at the University of Florida, I know the importance of working with our Surgeon General and his/her deputies. With Dr. Rivkees at the helm, we will be much stronger and in a much better position to apply for grants that require state involvement that helps the people of our state,” said Linda Cottler, PhD, MPH, FACE, Gainesville, Florida. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.

“I have had the honor and privilege of working as pediatrician under the leadership of Scott Rivkees, MD for the past 5 years. I have thoroughly enjoyed my entire medical career and these five years, at the University of Florida, have been the most fulfilling. He has been the best leader and mentor I have ever known. Previously, I have served as pediatrician in the United States Public Health Service and the United States Navy. I have enjoyed working within the leadership of many talented dedicated professionals. Scott Rivkees has set the standard of excellence in leadership for my entire career,” said Fred R. Guyer, M.D., Retired Captain, Marine Corps, U.S. Navy. To see their full letter of support, click HERE.



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