In recognition of their servant leadership and dedication to advancing medicine, the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville named faculty member Madeline Joseph, MD, and resident physician Abi Krishna, MD, recipients of the Leon L. Haley Jr. Leadership and Inclusive Excellence Award.
The award, established in 2022 in memory of former UF COMJ dean Leon L. Haley Jr., MD, is given to one resident and faculty member who exemplify leadership and service in health care and within the community to eliminate health disparities through their work.
Joseph, a professor and associate dean for health care excellence and organizational enrichment, has made tremendous strides to move medicine forward. She worked to establish Women in Medicine and Science, or WIMS, at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, an annual conference seeking to make significant strides in improving medical and scientific workplace environments for women in the organization and in the county.
The future of health care is very important to Joseph. Together Joseph and Ross Jones, MD, created Doctors and Clinicians of Tomorrow, a program that aims to increase the number of underrepresented students entering the health care field. In partnership with Duval County Public Schools, the program encourages high schoolers to engage with experts who have made a career in medicine.
“I am both honored and humbled to receive this award,” Joseph said. “Dr. Haley’s commitment to medicine and this community is something that I strive to model every day. He was the epitome of servant leadership and selflessness. It is my hope that we make a positive and lasting impact in health care and our communities and continue to serve others that are most in need through our work.”
In 2022, Joseph received UF’s Gator Nation LeaDErshIp (DEI) Award. She also serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors Committee on Equity; the newly developed Council of Florida Medical School Deans Heath Care Excellence Group; and many more local and national committees.
“Dr. Joseph is an incredible physician and colleague that represents the college well in her many roles,” said Linda Edwards, MD, dean of the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville. “She is always willing to serve and exemplifies courageous leadership to improve the health and well-being of our community.”
Heart of a Servant Leader
Krishna, who completed her residency training earlier this year, was the 2023 resident award recipient. From a very young age, she was taught to do what she could for others.
“My family and I were heavily involved in several community service projects through our faith community,” said Krishna. From helping out with clothing and food drives, to putting up holiday decorations at local nursing homes, she’s always had a spirit to serve others. Community service is the thing that keeps Krishna grounded in everything she does and serving others has become second nature to her.
She credits her community psychiatry fellowship for changing her as a person and giving her perspective on life. Krishna was humbled by her experience of traveling with the community outreach street case managers distributing food, water and psychiatric care to those living on the streets of Jacksonville.
“She puts her all into every patient, whether she was out on the streets in downtown Jacksonville or in the Sulzbacher clinic coordinating with our many providers,” said Ana Turner, MD, a UF assistant professor and program director of the psychiatry residency.
Krishna hopes that she leaves a lasting positive impact on those around her. She will continue to be involved in community projects as she becomes a stronger advocate for her patients and the best physician she can be. She hopes to break health care barriers, while supporting her colleagues and helping educate a new generation of physicians.
“I am beyond honored to have received this prestigious award,” said Krishna.
Associate Dean for Healthcare Excellence and Organizational Enrichment; Chief, Division of Pediatric Bariatrics