Campus & Community

PBSC names Oristano Center for Innovation in Health Sciences

Joan and Victor Oristano lived a lifelong commitment of giving to those in need. On Feb. 9, their legacy was again recognized with the unveiling of the newly named Oristano Center for Innovation in Health Sciences at Palm Beach State’s Palm Beach Gardens campus.

The center, which opened in 2021 in a refurbished building, uses cutting-edge technology in real-world settings to train students in the Ophthalmic Medical Technology and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs, providing a sustainable pipeline of highly qualified medical professionals to the community. The College relocated the programs from the BioScience Technology Complex to enhance their facilities and serve more students.

The naming follows a $1.7 million gift to the Foundation for Palm Beach State, including $1,060,000 for the Joan and Victor Oristano Endowed Scholarship.

Students pursuing degrees or certificates in health sciences are eligible to benefit from the Oristano scholarship, with each recipient receiving up to $12,000 per academic year. Martha Sabugo, a PBSC nursing student, was the first recipient of the Oristano Scholarship awarded in fall 2022. The Oristano Endowed Scholarship gives students opportunities to follow academic and professional paths that make a difference not only in their lives but also for anyone who calls Palm Beach County home.

Ricky Wade, chair of the Board for the Foundation for Palm Beach State College, and PBSC President Ava L. Parker, unveil the sign for the Oristano Center for Innovation in Health Sciences. Click the image to view more photos.

David Rutherford, CEO of the Foundation for PBSC, has been instrumental in securing funding and resources that serve the mission of the College’s health sciences programs. “The well-being of this community and all who live here is at the heart of what we do.”

The event celebrated not only the Oristano name but also the Oristano legacy. Michael Oristano, son of Joan and Victor, recalls his father’s commitment to community. “My father would be over the moon with all of this, seeing his name on this building dedicated to innovative healthcare. He was a visionary and a champion for community health, for which he was quite passionate. It’s the Oristano name, but it’s his legacy.”

President Ava L., Parker, J.D., expressed heartfelt gratitude for more than a generous gift. “With those who care enough to give, we are blessed when someone with a philanthropic heart chooses us and believes in what we do. The Oristano gift to Palm Beach State will live far beyond any of us, benefiting students of future generations.” In fact, 80% of Palm Beach State graduates remain in Palm Beach County, serving this community in a variety of fields, including healthcare.

Ed Willey, dean of Health Sciences, offered a strong message about the significance of a Palm Beach State College education. “Many of us throughout Palm Beach County have been treated by Palm Beach State graduates, today’s healthcare professionals. Caring for neonates to geriatric patients, our graduates are personally tending to our essential needs,” noting that in the College’s 90th year a Palm Beach State experience is more than history or academics or a degree; it’s personal.

The vision, trust and generosity of the Oristano family are a testament to what Palm Beach State is doing for the community, not only giving back but also building forward.

View more pictures in the Flickr alum.

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