UF Health writes tribute to former CEO Dr. Leon Haley Jr. one year after his sudden death

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. – One year ago Sunday, UF Health Jacksonville lost a beloved leader when CEO Dr. Leon Haley died in a WaveRunner accident in South Florida.

Haley was widely celebrated for his leadership in the medical community and beyond. In 2017, Haley moved to Jacksonville and became the dean of the University of Florida College of Medicine. A year later, he was chosen as the UF Health Jacksonville’s first Black CEO.

RELATED: ‘One of a kind’: Jacksonville community honors life, legacy of Dr. Leon Haley Jr.

UF Health Jacksonville posted a tribute to Haley on its Facebook page Sunday morning.

“One year ago, we lost an incredible colleague, friend, father, son, brother and leader. The death of Dr. Leon L. Haley Jr. was a devastating reminder of how precious life and leadership are to all of us. The poem “What Will Matter” by Michael Josephson was hanging in his office. An excerpt includes, “…What will matter is not your success but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught. What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriches, empowers or encourages others to emulate your example. …Choose to live a life that matters,” UF Health wrote in the post. “Dr. Haley gave and taught us more than we could have ever imagined, and we will work to emulate his example. We are a stronger organization because of him, and we will continue to be #HaleyStrong.”


The day before Haley’s tragic accident, he was on the surgical floor at UF Health Jacksonville, administering COVID vaccines in what proved to be his last day at the hospital.

He is remembered as an inspiration. A man who went above and beyond.

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