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Jax Daily Record Monday, Aug. 2, 202104:08 PM EST

UF Health Jax names medical school dean

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Dr. Linda R. Edwards steps in for Dr. Leon Haley, who died July 24.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

UF Health Jacksonville announced Aug. 2 that Dr. Linda R. Edwards will serve a one-year term as dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. 

Edwards is stepping into the role after the July 24 death of Dr. Leon Haley, who served as dean and CEO of UF Health Jacksonville. 

A national search for a permanent dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville will begin next year. 

Dr. Linda R. Edwards

A CEO replacement has not been named.

“This has been an extremely difficult and challenging time,” Dr. David R. Nelson, senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, said in a news release. 

“The loss of Dr. Haley has deeply impacted all of us. But in knowing Dr. Haley, and his commitment to the future of UF Health, we are taking steps to ensure his vision of excellence continues in the work we do moving forward.”

Edwards has been with the College of Medicine since 1985, her entire medical career.

She most recently served as senior associate dean for educational affairs, associate chair of the department of medicine, chief of the internal medicine division and the medical director for the hospital’s program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

She will be the college’s first female dean. 

“Dr. Edwards shared Dr. Haley’s tremendous passion for education and research, which is why her stepping in as dean is a natural fit,” Nelson said. 

“Her stewardship of the College of Medicine has led the program to unprecedented new heights, and her partnership with Dr. Haley in developing a regional medical school in Jacksonville and collaboration on his vision for the organization will help as we heal and move forward.”

Edwards attended medical school at East Carolina University and completed her residency in internal medicine at UF Health Jacksonville. 

In 1998, she became chief of internal medicine and in 2013, began her position in educational affairs, leading the residency and fellowship programs. 

She served on the UF Health Jacksonville board of directors from 2014 to 2020.

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