Fred Lippman, Ed.D., chancellor of the Health Professions Division, is no stranger to receiving awards. Besides the ones hanging on his wall, he has 12 cases filled with them.
Lippman said the awards on the walls remind him of battles he has fought.
“They’re there to act as a gyroscope for myself to remind me of the fact that things are not impossible, that things are possible, that you got to be patient, that sometimes you got to take a little pain, but if you’re willing to stay with it, you can be successful, and you can win,” he said.
In December 2010, Gov. Rick Scott asked Lippman to serve on his Education Transition Team to create a new education program in Florida. It is the third transition team Lippman has served on but the first in the area of education. He was on transition teams for former governors Lawton Chiles in 1992 and Charlie Crist in 2002. Lippman said he believes the most necessary educational, govern-mental and business teams should compel themselves to fulfill the goals participants set and provide the highest and most useful quality of education they can.
Lippman received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University and his doctorate from NSU. In 1986, he became a professor of community medicine at the Southeastern University of the Health Sciences. He became the school’s vice president for external affairs in 1989. In 1996, he became the HPD executive vice chancellor and provost. After the death of Morton Terry, the then HPD chancellor, in 2004, Lippman was appointed chancellor, a job that he said requires him to be a qualified administrator.
“This is where I really learned not only about the responsibilities of being a good educator but also the responsibilities of being a good mentor and trying to create an atmosphere for a successful and hopefully happy education opportunity for students who matriculate here,” he said.
Lippman said he has maintained the dignity and the respect that Terry brought to the field of health care education. He said Terry was focused on the humanity and humility of health care professionals’ responsibilities.
“I am very pleased that throughout not only the community around us, but throughout the United Sates, I find many of our graduates providing that style of healthcare to their patients and doing it very successfully,” he said. “To me, that’s the greatest achievement.”
Lippman occasionally does what he calls “everyday life experience teaching.” He said he tries to instill within students a respect for their profession and their community.
“You don’t measure people based upon their philosophy or their culture or their own personal beliefs,” he said. “You measure them upon the fact that they are human beings in need of your knowledge and your skill to either mitigate pain and illness or to prevent illness.”
Lippman believes the focus of health care must be disease prevention and wellness.
“How does a plant grow without the sun or without earth?” he said. “So, how does the body go on forever without preventing disease or creating a standard of wellness or caring for the many issues that we face, many of which are genetically engineered or self-induced? We have to learn to deal with that, and we do that through the educated health professional.”
Lippman said scientific knowledge and research will give health professions incredible opportunities in the next decades. He said he believes NSU is ready for this change. “The whole field of health care is changing so quickly, so dramatically that I’m thankful that we have the electronic elements that are available to us because knowledge is changing so dramatically,” Lippman said. “That’s why I think NSU is so nimble. We’re very quick to be able to make change.”
Lippman describes himself as a “sports nut” and “forever a Dolphin fan through and through.” He rarely misses Heat games and he loves spending time with his three sons, two grandchildren and dog.