Dr. Howard Rose receives ‘Young at Heart Award’ from HandsOn Jacksonville


Each Tuesday morning for more than 12 years, ophthalmologist Dr. Howard Rose, 85, made the journey from his Ponte Vedra home to downtown Jacksonville, where he volunteered his services caring for the vision needs of low-income, working individuals who lacked health insurance.

During that time, Rose logged more than 2,300 volunteer hours at the clinic, and for that longstanding commitment he was honored recently, when HandsOn Jacksonville presented him with its Celebrate! GOOD Young at Heart Award recognizing outstanding volunteers aged 70 and over. Celebrating with him at the award dinner were his wife, Muriel, and Volunteers in Medicine leadership and staff.

“Dr. Rose has been such a wonderful asset to our organization,” said Volunteers in Medicine’s Director of Volunteer Services Catie Wallace, who nominated Rose for the award. “We are thrilled that HandsOn Jacksonville’s judging panel saw the tremendous heart in Dr. Rose that we have seen each week, year after year.”

Rose’s care was particularly important to diabetic patients, who needed ongoing monitoring to prevent blindness. So valuable, in fact, were his services, that Volunteers in Medicine estimated that Rose’s service through years totaled more than $575,000 in free medical care.

The HandsOn Jacksonville award coincided with the announcement that Rose is retiring.

“We couldn’t possibly begin to thank Dr. Rose enough for his years of selfless dedication to Jacksonville’s hard-working, low-income residents,” said Mary Pat Corrigan, CEO of Volunteers in Medicine.

Wallace agreed. “We will all miss him very much,” she said. “Dr. Rose is leaving some very big shoes to fill.”