A Doctor and His Grandmother Change the Community
As I walk through the Jackson Memorial Medical Center campus every day, I am proud to walk in the footsteps of my grandmother, Gracie Wyche. She was a pioneer nurse in our community who began working in the then-segregated wards of Jackson Memorial Hospital, and ultimately became a head nurse. In the 1980s, she cared for patients suffering from a mysterious illness that later became known as AIDS.
When I was just a child in the ‘80s, she took me to feed the homeless on Northwest 17th Street. This experience was my first glimpse into the devastation in our community brought on by HIV and AIDS. My work at Jackson’s HIV clinic and inpatient service was directly inspired by this experience. Having seen firsthand the effects that using dirty needles had on my patients and others in Miami-Dade, a region that tops the list for new HIV infections in the nation, I created a program where anyone can bring dirty needles in and swap them for clean ones, with the goal of drastically lowering HIV infection rates.
Today, when I walk into the IDEA Needle Exchange, I think of my grandmother and how proud she would be of my work and the opportunities I have had at Jackson.
Hansel Tookes III, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine
UHealth – University of Miami Health System
Former Internal Medicine Resident, Jackson Memorial Hospital
Sep. 1952 Jackson History
University of Miami Opens School of Medicine. Link opens story page.
In 1952, the University of Miami School of Medicine opened and welcomed its first class of 28 students -- 26 men and two women.Explore in story page.
Jul. 2012 Miracle Stories
Aspiring Model Suffers Severe Burns After Bathroom Catches Fire. Link opens story page.
In 1995, Feride Buch suffered severe burns to 80 percent of her body. She was rushed to Ryder Trauma Center, where she was in a medically-induced coma for weeks.Explore in story page.
May. 2012 Miracle Stories
Professional Golfer Receives Life-saving Heart Transplant. Link opens story page.
In 2008, professional Golfer Erik Compton was preparing to qualify for the PGA Tour, when his transplanted heart started to fail.Explore in story page.