The CMA guilds in Florida have been a unified group working closely together even before they formed a state association. They were one of the first state associations of the CMA. Now the Florida Catholic Medical Association (FL CMA) is also one of the first to officially become a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, fulfilling the CMA vision for every state association.

This is an important step forward in further unifying and strengthening the guilds, which will help to advance FL CMA goals including becoming a more active voice among the medical associations in the state of Florida.

The FL CMA Board consists of officers President Dr. Diane Gowski, Vice President Dr. Joseph Thornton, who also serves as the Treasurer, and Secretary Dr. Stephen Hannan along with seven directors who are the seven Florida CMA Guild Presidents: Dr. Angeli Akey, Dr. Rob Hamill, Dr. Stephen Hannan, Dr. Lance Maki, Dr. Felix Rodriguez, Dr. Felipe Vizcarrondo and Dr. William Whibbs.

Members of the FL CMA board have been attending virtual meetings with like-minded state organizations to address the issues of physician assisted suicide and conscience protection in Florida. FL CMA also plans to spread the “Vote Pro-Life” message for the upcoming 2020 Election locally and through social media.

FL CMA Board members Drs. Angeli Akey, Diane Gowski and Joe Thornton participated in the Annual Educational Conference as a panel in a breakout session on “Activist Ethics.” The session is available for viewing through the national CMA and includes a participatory survey.

In addition, two FL CMA board members received awards: Guild President Dr. Felix Rodriguez and the Palm Beach Physicians Guild won the “Best Guild Runner Up” for the extensive work the Guild has accomplished in just four years; and Dr. Angeli Akey was a recipient of the CMA’s Distinguished Guardian of Faith award for her significant work defending conscience rights and spreading the culture of life.

The Florida CMA guilds remain active with five upcoming White Masses scheduled for this Fall, 2020 (see below).

For more information on what else is happening in the state of Florida, please visit www.cathmedflorida.org.

Florida Guilds Move Ahead with White Masses

Florida is in phase 3 re-opening, which provides for the guilds to plan for the longstanding CMA tradition of the annual White Mass.  Named for the color worn by those in the healing profession of medicine, White Masses are held around the country to honor the dedicated work of health care professionals and to ask God’s blessing upon patients, doctors, nurses, and caregivers. White Masses also honor St. Luke, the patron saint of physicians and surgeons, whose feast day is October 18. The Florida guilds will be able to offer the annual White Mass while observing CDC and state guidelines and they are as follows:

  • Tampa Bay Guild of St. Philomena will celebrate the White Mass at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Tampa Oct. 24 at 4 p.m. with Bishop Gregory Parkes as the main celebrant.
  • The Southwest Florida Guild in the Diocese of Venice will celebrate the White Mass at St Agnes Catholic Church in Naples, FL Oct. 17 at 8:30 a. m. with Fr. Michael Orsi as the main celebrant.
  • Palm Beach Physicians Guild will celebrate the White Mass at St. Ann Church in West Palm Beach Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. with Guild Chaplain Fr. Dennis Gonzales as the main celebrant. The Palm Beach Physicians Guild will also host a day of Reflection & Recollection Oct. 10.
  • Miami Guild will celebrate the White Mass with the renewing of the Hippocratic oath at Mercy Hospital with Guild Chaplain Fr. Alfred Cioffi as the main celebrant. Deacon Jose Martinez who is the guild treasurer, will concelebrate. Further information is available at www.cathmedflorida.org.
  • The Orlando Catholic Physicians Guild will celebrate the White Mass at Annunciation Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs, FL Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. Further information is available at www.cathmedflorida.org.