JACKSONVILLE, Fla — The father and son of late UF Health CEO Dr. Leon Haley Jr. spoke at a press conference Monday with the governor to formally announce the hospital's trauma center will be renovated and named to honor Haley.
The press conference took place in the room where Haley became the first in the state to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Haley died in July in a jet ski accident.
The $80 million that will go toward the building's renovation was approved by the state legislature.
The trauma center has been open for 40 years and leaders at the hospital say it needs renovations. The money aims to take the trauma center from out-of-date to state-of-the-art.
Dr. Haley's father, Leon Haley Sr., says he reflected on Haley's life on Easter and how Haley was a loving son who from the time he left college would call his parents every Sunday to check on them.
Haley's son Grant said it was important to his father to be able to be a hero and that his legacy goes far beyond the titles of doctor or CEO.
"He taught me so many values and lessons of just being a man of service, a man of faith, what truly is a man," Grant Haley said. "Not somebody who is just in the spotlight, but somebody who does the dirty work when people aren't looking."
According to UF Health, one of Haley's goals was figuring out how to best give emergency care to large numbers of patients. The trauma center to be named for him helps thousands of people across the area.