May 21, 2024

Dr. Kerry Schwartz Named Howard Palmer Award Winner

Twenty-one honored at Member Celebration presented by AdventHealth


Orlando cardiologist Dr. Kerry Schwartz is the latest honoree to receive Florida Citrus Sports’ Howard Palmer Award, the organization’s most prestigious member honor, presented in recognition of a lifetime of service without regard for personal recognition. Dr. Schwartz accepted the award Friday at Florida Citrus Sports’ annual Member Celebration gala presented by AdventHealth, held at the Orlando Science Center.

A longtime scout and former representative on Florida Citrus Sports’ board of directors, Dr. Schwartz and his team spent more than a quarter century providing sports physicals to participants in Florida Citrus Sports’ MVP Summer Camp. He continues to support access to complimentary physicals through the Be a Player Foundation, with his business partner, John Byrnes.

In addition to his work with the MVP Summer Camp, Dr. Schwartz was also instrumental to a host of early Florida Citrus Sports initiatives, including infrastructure support of the 1996 Olympic Games and innovative scanning for heart abnormalities in participants at a former Florida-Georgia High School All-Star Game.

“When I started here, this man had already been giving of himself for a long period of time — that’s how invested he’s been in this community,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said during his remarks Friday. “He has dedicated himself to this organization, the health of the kids in what we now know as West Lakes and kids associated with Florida Citrus Sports and sports in general.”

A graduate of Emory University and former Chief Resident in Memphis at the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, Dr. Schwartz served as a clinical and research fellow in Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Alabama in Birmingham before relocating to Orlando in 1980 to form Florida Heart Group with two other physicians.

After leading a highly successful clinical practice in interventional cardiology and electrophysiology, Dr. Schwartz established the electrophysiology laboratory at Florida Hospital (now part of the AdventHealth system), where he served as president of the hospital’s largest local campus on two occasions.

To this day, Dr. Schwartz and his team provide on-field medical support at a variety of Florida Citrus Sports events, including bowl games, soccer matches, youth sports events and more.

“I’m immensely grateful for the encouragement of many people at Florida Citrus Sports, and I owe tremendous gratitude to Chuck Rohe, Tom Mickle and Steve Hogan, whose careers and dedication have morphed this organization to a greater level of community involvement than one would ever have thought,” Schwartz said as he accepted the award.

“It’s a great honor to continue to serve, not just with those who have been here before, but with the new members who have now become immersed in our mission.”

Dr. Schwartz is the 33rd all-time recipient of the Howard Palmer Award. Palmer, the founder of one of Central Florida’s largest electrical appliance and wiring companies and a member of the original Tangerine Sports Association Board in 1972, also served as director of the Greater Orlando Area Chamber of Commerce.

A complete list of Howard Palmer Award winners is available below in alphabetical order:

Bill Becker
Pat Bishop
Diana Booker
Dennis Braziel
Jeff Clark
Elmer Cook
Lee Corso
Bill Dymond
Rich Fildes
Chuck Heard
Vernon Hinely
Richard Jackson
Paul Kennedy
Ford Kiene
Harvey Massey
Bob Matheison
Tom McCoy
Charlie Miller
Yogi Moore
George Nahas
Tom Quattry
Chuck Rohe
Ted Ruta
Kerry Schwartz
Reg Shrigley
Simon Snyder
Bill Sullivan
Debby Sweeney
Garneta Swenson
Tommy Thompson
Marshall Vermillion
Mike Vestal
Royce Walden


Twenty-one Honored at Member Celebration presented by AdventHealth

In addition to Schwartz’s Howard Palmer Award recognition, 21 additional Florida Citrus Sports members have been honored with “Member of the Year” service awards for the 2023-24 season.

The individuals listed below are being recognized for supporting the organization in various ways throughout the membership year and represent just some of the Florida Citrus Sports members who make up our family and go above for the cause and our community.

Frank Adam
Mariana Adam
Dave Arms
Sade Battle
Dena Berry
Kirt Bocox
Milton Carroll
Rae Connelly
Joe Doher
Jordan Eichenblatt
Carl Franks
Jim Gertsch
John Gyllin
Justin Kinsey
Terry Lambing
Paul Leake
Kelly McDonald
Chris McLeod
David Saphirstein
Karl Schmidt
Rob Yacabucci

Photos from Friday’s Member Celebration presented by AdventHealth can be viewed on our Media Archive.


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