Jackson chose to honor the memory of his father, who passed away in 2016 at age 75, with the creation of the Robert Davis Jackson and Christopher Davis Jackson Memorial Professorship for Pediatric Cardiology at the UF College of Medicine. The generous estate gift will fund a faculty position in the pediatric cardiology division, which has consistently ranked among the top programs in the nation for the past 11 years.
Mark S. Bleiweis, M.D., the William G. Lassiter Jr. and Aneice R. Lassiter Professor and director of the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, said the center is extremely grateful to Jackson for choosing to honor his father with the gift.
“This professorship will allow us to recruit and retain a talented faculty member within the division of pediatric cardiology,” Bleiweis said. “It’s gifts like this that allow us to conduct groundbreaking research and provide expert-level care here at UF Health.”
Jackson said it was an easy decision for him to make this gift.
“It’s the efforts and commitments of people such as my father and his mentors, as well as Dr. Bleiweis and his collective faculty, who do the heavy lifting to make the world a better place that makes me proud to have my family’s name associated with them for this generation and the next,” he said.
One of Robert Jackson’s mentors while he trained at UF was Gerold Schiebler, M.D., a professor emeritus and a Distinguished Service professor of the UF College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. Schiebler said Robert Jackson kept in touch with him long after he left Gainesville and remembered him as a physician who always worked hard to provide the best possible care to his patients.
“I hope the establishment of this professorship in Dr. Jackson’s name will help bring a nationally recognized pediatric cardiologist to UF who can elevate the opportunities available in the program,” Schiebler said.
Though Jackson works in finance rather than health care, he said his father’s philosophy and values are always present in his work.
“My dad cared about kids and their hearts, both physically and emotionally, medicine in general, and doing the right thing by them — they’re patients, not clients, as he would tell me,” Jackson said. “He was truly dedicated to the oath he took, and this is the best way I could pay tribute to those causes.”