Gov. Ron DeSantis filled two recently created vacancies on the Florida Board of Medicine, a 15-member panel composed mostly of licensed physicians tasked with licensing, monitoring, disciplining, educating and rehabilitating physicians and other practitioners in the state.
On Wednesday, DeSantis’ office announced the appointment of pediatric endocrinologist Matthew Benson and pediatrician Gregory Coffman, both of Orlando.
Benson works at Nemours Children’s Health and is a member of the Pediatric Endocrine Society and American Society of Bone and Mineral Research.
Coffman has worked at Orlando Health Physician Associates since 2015 and is a current Vice Chair of its Department of Pediatrics. He earned his doctor of medicine from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.
Prior to joining Orlando Health, he worked at Pediatric Associates of Orlando and served from 2007 to 2009 as Vice Chair of pediatrics at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. He now serves on the Arnold Palmer Hospital’s Quality Assurance Committee.
In his biography with Nemours, Benson said he is passionate about “staying up to date” in his field and strives to “provide compassionate care based on the latest evidence in an environment where patients and families are involved in decision-making.”
“I enjoy caring for children and helping families understand how prevention and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent disease and promote health,” he said. “I am also interested in clinical research that sheds new light on keeping kids healthy. My wife and I have three children, so I appreciate the family’s essential role in decisions that affect their children.”
Coffman is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He earned his doctor of medicine from Emory University.
Patient reviews posted to the Orlando Health website describe Coffman as “an amazing doctor and amazing compassionate man” who “gives great and honest advice.”
“Dr. Coffman is an exceptional physician,” one reviewer wrote. “I’m extremely appreciative of all the wonderful care … (he’s) given my daughter over the years. Dr. Coffman has a deep sense of commitment to his (patients) and children and he does all … he can to make sure that they are safe, happy and healthy.”
The terms of several Board of Medicine members ended Oct. 31, creating four vacancies in addition to the empty Vice Chair seat.
According to its website, the Board’s Chair, David Diamond of Winter Park, saw his term end more than a year ago but continues to lead the panel. That is allowed under state statutes, which provide that a Board member whose term expires can still serve until he or she resigns or has been replaced or reappointed.
The Board consists of 15 members, all Governor’s appointees. Twelve members must be licensed physicians living and practicing in good standing in Florida with at least four years of work in the field.
One member must be in private practice and on the full-time staff of a teaching hospital. Another must be a graduate from a foreign medical school. The remaining three must be residents who have never worked as a health care practitioner.
If the Senate approves their appointments, Benson and Coffman would each serve for four years.