Stay up to date with the latest press releases and news.

Ultimate Medical Academy Surpasses Goal with 1,100+ Walkers at Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event

UMA logo

TAMPA, Fla. – November 4, 2019 – Ultimate Medical Academy brought a record team of volunteers to the 2019 American Cancer Society (ACS)’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 3, helping to raise awareness and financial support for the healthcare cause.

In 2018, with 703 walkers, UMA had the largest Making Strides team from a single organization in the state of Florida and the third largest team nationwide. In September, the nonprofit healthcare educational institution kicked off efforts to build a team of at least 750 people this year. UMA shattered that goal with more than 1,100 registered walkers on their 2019 team. Through these efforts, UMA helped to raise more than $44,000 for the ACS and Making Strides this year.

“Having the goal to build the biggest team is a fun way to get our people energized and to create a sense of friendly competition between our departments, but all of that is a means to a much greater end,” said Beth Garland, UMA’s senior vice president of human resources and the chair for this year’s Tampa Making Strides event. “What we’re really trying to do is help increase awareness for this cause and support the patients, caregivers and survivors who have been affected by cancer.”

In addition to funding cancer research, the ACS helps patients and their families in tangible ways such as transporting patients to treatments and surgeries, helping patients and survivors with self-care as they endure the effects of treatment, and coming to a caregiver’s or patient’s aid when they have questions or concerns at any hour.

“UMA supports a number of charitable causes in our community,” said Garland. “This one is particularly near and dear to our hearts because we have several team members and their families who have been directly impacted by breast cancer. We do this for them because they’re part of our UMA family.”
Ilyasha Hood, who currently works with UMA’s Talent Acquisition team, is a breast cancer survivor who was 24 when she received the phone call that changed her life. (Watch Hood’s story here.) Throughout her treatment, Hood’s UMA colleagues put together care packages, offered encouragement and supported her through her journey.

“They treated me like family, and it means a lot to be part of a team that cares so much,” said Hood. “Our mission at UMA is all about healthcare – training students for healthcare roles, helping to fill important job openings in the healthcare industry. It touches my heart to know that commitment also extends to the health and well-being of UMA team members and their families.”

UMA was a major sponsor of the 2019 Making Strides event in Tampa, participating at the Gold Sponsor level. It was also the medical tent sponsor for this year. To express what motivates them to support Making Strides, UMA team members created a series of videos this year titled, “Why UMA Walks.”

“I have friends and family affected by this disease, and I want it eradicated,” said Nicole Anzuoni, UMA’s General Counsel. “That’s why I’m walking.”
“I walk to raise awareness about this disease that has taken way too many family members and loved ones from people across America and across the world,” shared Kyle Hopewell, Sr. Manager of Communications at UMA.

“Families have to go through a lot of different things, and cancer should never be one of them,” explained Lindsay England, Sr. Director of Career Services at UMA. “That’s why participating in Making Strides is important to me.”

The complete “Why UMA Walks” series can be viewed through the links below:

Why UMA Walks – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 1
Why UMA Walks – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 2
Why UMA Walks – Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 3

UMA’s community giving focuses on three main areas that align with the institution’s mission to equip and empower students to excel in healthcare careers: Healthcare, Education and Diversity & Inclusion. In January, UMA was honored as the 2019 Large Not-For-Profit Business of the Year by the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce.