Dr. Duff Sprawls Simply Likes Doing For Others
By Space Coast Medicine & Active Living // July 29, 2013
2012 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN
‘Charity and Generosity Makes Me Feel Good’
As a hematologist and oncologist in great demand and splitting time between multiple offices, Dr. Duff Sprawls is constantly challenged by a heavy workload.
Yet despite working more than 80 hours a week and squeezing in time for his family, Dr. Sprawls has never refused a request for help from the community, and is actively involved in church charities and countless volunteer initiatives that have impacted the lives of thousands of Brevard County cancer patients and their families. For his unselfish devotion to others, Sprawls is a 2012 Central Florida Humanitarian Award recipient.
He graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine and completed internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of South Florida. That’s also where he finished a Medical Oncology Fellowship at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center.
Sprawls could be described as a people person and his caring and compassion for his patients and concern for the well-being of others is evident.
“We’re part of the community, it helps all of us go forward,” Sprawls said. “Charity and generosity makes me feel good.”
Dr. Duff Sprawls is dedicated to serving others, whether it’s helping a cancer patient find resources to make financial ends meet or flying off to Haiti. Dr. Sprawls also makes time to volunteer with Christian Services International and co-found the Space Coast Cancer Foundation, which is the fundraising and charitable arm of Space Coast Cancer Center and houses a comprehensive network of services that allow patients to concentrate solely on recovery.
Growing up with a father who was a career military officer, Sprawls identified with his father’s concern for those serving under him. He also became committed to volunteering through the Boy Scouts and listening to his church minister, who advocated a life of faith and service to others.
It’s a tradition Dr. Sprawls still believes in, whether it’s helping a cancer patient find resources to make financial ends meet or flying off to Haiti to lend a hand to the efforts of Dr. Paul Farmer, one of the founders of Partners In Health, an international health and social justice organization that treats tuberculosis and AIDs victims in the Third World.
He also makes time to volunteer with Christian Services International, and in 2006 Dr. Sprawls helped co-found the Space Coast Cancer Foundation (SCCF). The SCCF is the fundraising and charitable arm of Space Coast Cancer Center and houses a comprehensive network of services that allow patients to concentrate solely on recovery.
Through events such as the annual Daffodil Gala in Brevard County Sprawls has raised thousands to help the foundation provide patient transportation, direct financial assistance to offset the cost of pain and anti-nausea medication and any other support needs related to cancer. He’s also been known to reach out to drug and pharmaceutical companies to help eligible patients with free chemotherapy programs.
Through his efforts the foundation offers 10 educational scholarships for oncology nurses at each area hospital in Brevard. The scholarship program provides oncology nurses financial resources for the expense of attending courses to maintain their oncology and chemotherapy certifications.
Dr. Sprawls’ wife, Kem, is almost always at his side at the many charitable events and organizations for which he volunteers. Kem shares his belief in helping the less fortunate by devoting time, talent and treasure to causes that help the less fortunate.
He said he has few hobbies and interests because his job affords no time for those pursuits, but when he hears of someone in need of assistance, he’ll juggle his hectic schedule in order to help. Those sort of positive interactions with people are his priority.
“My basic philosophy is the Dr. Richard Levine rule,” Sprawls said. “He says put your patients first and everything else will be OK. I do the same with everything I do in my life. I simply like doing things for other people.”
The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world.
This year, more than 40 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.
“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.
This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, MPAC ACO, Community Credit Union, Kindred Hospital, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, Florida Pain, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A NOMINATION for the 2013 Central Florida Humanitarian Awards call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com