UF alumnus to discuss his work delivering medical care to Miami’s homeless
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — One of the nation’s leading humanitarian-physicians will speak at 6 p.m. March 13 at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida’s Pugh Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Dr. Pedro Jose “Joe” Greer, UF alumnus and assistant dean of academic affairs at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, will discuss his pioneering work delivering medical care to the homeless. At FIU, Greer oversees unique educational programs that aim to develop highly skilled and culturally competent physicians who are socially accountable to their communities.
Greer, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist, founded Camillus Health Concern — an agency that provides medical care to Miami’s homeless. Greer founded the not-for-profit after he encountered a homeless man dying from tuberculosis, an experience that opened his eyes to the plight of Miami’s poor. He is also the founder of the St. John Bosco Clinic, which helps undocumented immigrants in the Miami area.
Greer has advised Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton on health care and poverty and has been honored by several U.S. presidents with some of the nation’s highest honors. He has been given the Presidential Medal of Freedom and has received three Papal Medals in addition to being the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “genius grant.”
“Waking Up in America: How One Doctor Brings Hope to Those Who Need it Most,” his autobiography, co-written with FIU alumna and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Liz Balmaseda, details his early years as a physician, delivering care to patients living under highway overpasses in Miami. His story has been featured on television stations such as ABC, CBS, NBC and HBO, among others.
Greer was born in Miami in 1956 when his mother was visiting for a family gathering. The family then moved to Miami permanently with hundreds of thousands of other Cuban exiles after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and graduated from UF in 1978. He earned his medical degree at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic. He completed his residency and fellowship at Jackson Memorial Hospital in gastroenterology and hepatology.