In Development Spring 2017

In this issue:

Introduction by J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, and Ralph Muller

Welcome to In Development-Spring 2017. In this edition we recognize just a few of the many ways in which our past, present, and future work creates a continuum of success that confirms Penn Medicine as the premier destination for health care. We revisit a game changing discovery, leap to the horizon of intelligent medical architecture, highlight the multitalented faculty who power our development efforts, and introduce two grateful patients who are giving to Penn Medicine because of you. Also look for information about an estate planning course designed for faculty and the newest feature of In Development.

First, we take a moment to remember one of Penn Medicine’s super stars, a champion in the fight against cancer, Peter C. Nowell, M’52, who we lost last December. Dr. Nowell, a partner in the discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome, revolutionized cancer research and paved the way for life-saving targeted therapies. With the exception of two years at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory, after his training in Pathology at Presbyterian Hospital (GME’56), he spent his entire career at the Perelman School of Medicine. Education was paramount to Dr. Nowell who was known to say, “We have to remember that we are a medical school primarily.” Generous as he was with his time and in the spirit of his convictions, he honored his Penn Medicine family by leaving a bequest to support existing scholarship funds at the School. The Peter C. Nowell, MD Professorship was established in 2015 in his honor by faculty and many long-time supporters of the Abramson Cancer Center. It is currently held by Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson, MD.

Today, we stand on the precipice of our next big thing, literally — our newest inpatient facility — the Pavilion. Adjacent to all the important work done at HUP every day, it has been strategically designed to complement the leading-edge patient care, research efforts, and team-based medicine that we are already known for, and further, will transform the whole system, elevating the entire faculty. With 1.5 million square feet, 500 patient beds in private rooms, and 50 interventional operating rooms we will be one of the most advanced hospitals in the world, reflecting the caliber of every physician-researcher and clinician in our system, yet again setting the bar for comprehensive patient care. Fundraising for the Pavilion will allow us to develop relationships with new prospects who can be cultivated for other priorities in the long-term, as capital giving often increases giving to other initiatives. Currently under construction across from HUP at the site of the former Penn Tower, we officially break ground in May.

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD Robert G. Dunlop Professor of Medicine Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania    

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Robert G. Dunlop Professor of Medicine
Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System
Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


Ralph W. Muller Chief Executive Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System    

Ralph W. Muller
Chief Executive Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System



A Gift with Impact: Chris Leavy

Pre-diabetic and dangerously overweight, Chris Leavy was told that his life depended on making major changes — fast. Thankfully, Mr. Leavy found the help he needed from Penn Medicine's Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, through its Stunkard Weight Management Program. He worked with his care team to lose the weight, and has kept it off, adding years back onto his life. Today, he is in great shape, loves to play tennis, and has lots of energy.

“Before I found Penn Medicine, it was difficult to identify all of the specialists I needed on my own, despite my access to time and professional skills,” Chris explained. “I couldn’t imagine how challenging that would be for those with limited time, money, and information.” That is particularly true in underserved communities, where obesity is most prevalent.

Chris decided to celebrate the impact of his Penn health care team and increase access to vital services by launching the Patient Care Fund at Penn Metabolic Medicine : a new clinic which offers critical behavioral and nutritional intervention — often not covered by insurance — that powerfully complements the care offered at the Stunkard Program. Further, the outcome data collected from these specially funded services will be used to bolster the case for future health policy reform, a very exciting prospect for him. His initial gift allowed 10 to 15 people to receive the lifesaving treatment that they could not otherwise afford — and he hopes that his story will inspire others who have the means to consider giving to the world-class programs at Penn Medicine.

Events Recap

Penn Medicine in Palm Beach: “Living Better 2017"

Held annually since 2005, on February 13th our free public health seminar educated 227 guests at The Four Seasons and entertained nearly 200 for dinner at The Breakers.

Penn Medicine in Naples

This year’s intimate dinner at The Beach House at The Ritz-Carlton offered 71 guests the opportunity to hear from our Researchers Pushing the Frontiers of Immunotherapy & Regenerative Medicine.

Facilitated by Senior Vice Dean Gail Morrison, MD (center), the evening featured John Wherry, PhD (left) and Ken Zaret, PhD (right).

Facilitated by Senior Vice Dean Gail Morrison, MD (center), the evening featured John Wherry, PhD (left) and Ken Zaret, PhD (right).

Faculty Estate Planning Seminar

For nearly 20 years, PMDAR has been happy to host a special annual “lunch and learn” information session specifically developed to assist faculty with their own personal estate planning. Presented by Marcie L.H. Merz, JD, Executive Director of Gift Planning & Associate General Counsel at the University of Pennsylvania, Building Blocks of a Successful Estate Plan will get you started and help you review your plans in light of current tax laws. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Penn Medicine's Estate Planning Booklet.


Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2017; 12:00 to 1:30 PM Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research; Conference Room 10-146 AB. To RSVP, please email Leslie Russell or call 215.898-9691.

Our International Friends

When someone has the ability to travel anywhere in the world for a procedure easily available in their hometown, and they choose Penn Medicine, it is an act that solidifies our claim of offering world class health care. We have earned the loyalty of international philanthropists Cyrus and Priya Vandrevala who made Philadelphia their fulltime residence for about a decade before the turn of the millennium while co-founding Intrepid Capital Partners. During that time, the Vandrevala family received routine care from Penn Medicine, and have held a place in their hearts for us ever since.

Cyrus, a private equity investor, and Priya, a real estate investor, are also international socialites on a mission to get the global community to know Penn Medicine. No strangers to the importance of investing in health care, in 2009, they created the Vandrevala Foundation which raises awareness for mental illness and provides access, resources, and advocacy for quality mental health care in India. In 2013, they turned their generosity toward us when they established the PA Hospital - Vandrevala Fund for Parkinson’s. Today, the Vandrevalas are actively engaged and regularly meet with CEO Ralph Muller, introducing members of our faculty to their personal and professional contacts with the aim of garnering support for our global medical presence and brand.

The Vandrevalas have been vocal about their appreciation for the personal touch and breadth of expertise available at Penn Medicine. Toward that effort, last September, the Vandrevalas hosted a 100–guest event and private dinner in London at Claridge’s Hotel with Drs. Jim Metz and David Porter as the guests of honor. The goal was three-fold: talk about Penn as a destination for health care; the availability of Penn Passport — a service that coordinates health care all over the world; and the role of philanthropy in advancing Penn’s mission. This fall, Drs. Frances Jensen, Lynn Schuchter, and Zolt Arany have been invited to a reception at the House of Lords, where the Vandrevalas will be connecting them to a guest list hailing from other parts of the world. Dr. Jensen will also speak at the American School in London.