Time is Right
250th Prompts Two $250,000 Gifts
Barry J. Gertz and Laura B. Friedman Name Space and Create First-of-a-Kind Scholarship
With significant 250th events here on campus, alumni leader Barry J. Gertz, C’73, GR’79, M’79, INT’82, and his wife Laura B. Friedman have been moved to make commitments to inspire and encourage others to make their own history during the celebration.
“This is a very special time in the history of our beloved institution and I am thrilled to be involved,” said Dr. Gertz. “Laura and I are looking forward to returning to campus to celebrate with Dean Jameson, Gail Morrison, my classmates, and colleagues.”
During the 250th celebration there will be special photo opportunities for all naming donors in their new spaces at the ribbon cutting ceremonies in May.
For Barry and Laura, two milestones prompted two gifts to the School: his retirement from Merck Research Labs and the Perelman School’s 250th celebration. With a gift of $250,000, they named the Anna S. and Irving Gertz Quiet Study Lounge in the Henry A. Jordan M’62 Medical Education Center to honor his parents.
Their second $250,000 gift established the Barry J. Gertz, C’73, GR’79, M’79, INT’82 and Laura B. Friedman Wilderness Medicine Fund. Barry and Laura, both outdoor enthusiasts and highly experienced wilderness backpackers, wish to support initiatives in enhancing students’ experiences. In addition, they both will serve as faculty preceptors in the “Wilderness and Disaster Medicine” course.
“We congratulate Barry and Laura on his retirement and are very appreciative that they thought of us as they look ahead to their next set of adventures,” said Dr. Morrison. “I am also delighted to have their kind friendship to support our endeavors; it really is going to make a difference for generations of students.”
This year is the ideal time to make your own history through a celebratory 250th gift that honors the School’s history.
The Jordan Center’s City View Patio and East Pavilion Event Space and Dais, among others, are still available for naming. All gifts may be paid on a five-year schedule.
On Turning 250
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, M’02, GRW’05, to Speak at Penn Medicine in DC Celebration on November 20
“What better speaker and what better place to recognize Penn Medicine’s national role – past and present,” said co-host Lou Kozloff, C’65, M’69.
“Not to forget future,” added co-host Martin Kanovsky, M’78, INT’79, RES’81, FEL’83.
Dr. Kozloff, chair of the Medical Alumni Advisory Council, and MAAC member Dr. Kanovsky, both of whom practice in the DC area, gave us this look behind the scenes at the upcoming event.
Q: What prompted you to host this event?
We want to give DC-area alumni a front row seat at the premier of the Perelman School’s next 250 years. Our featured speaker Rajiv Shah, M’02, GRW’05, the 16th Administrator of the USAID, is a draw – Dr. Shah led USAID’s response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti soon after taking the helm of the agency.
It’s amazing to be a part of this progression of 250 years. We want people to take the time to consider their experiences and how they would like to influence the future of medicine.
Through our involvement, we have been inspired by the evolution at Penn. We want others to share in that excitement.
Exactly. As I like to say, we’re the oldest medical school with some of the newest ideas. There’s so much happening at Penn Medicine in terms of medical breakthroughs, new technology, Penn’s increasingly global reach. Dean Jameson and Gail Morrison will update us on the School.
Truly phenomenal physical and technological changes are taking place on campus, which is essentially unrecognizable from when I was a student.
Q: Do these new facilities, particularly the Jordan Medical Education Center, make you wish you could return to medical school?
I wouldn’t want to start over and take all of the courses again, but, yes, I would love to come back to learn in this different learning environment. Despite the differences, when you spend time with students and faculty, you realize that the spirit of collegiality and camaraderie still prevails.
Absolutely. As students, we were made to feel like we belonged, that the School wanted you to do well, but not at someone else’s expense. Everyone wanted to help everybody. And there were so many wonderful teachers and mentors here that offered much more than textbook learning.
You got to understand so many small but important details. Like when you go in to a patient, sit down. This sends the message that you have time for them. In my office, I go get patients from the waiting room. In that minute of time, you can glean much more than a minute’s worth of information: who are they with? How are they walking?
Q: What are you looking forward to most about the 250th?
Unexpected gems. The Botswana program is a good example. We were invited to contribute there, which is qualitatively different than introducing and imposing your own agenda. And in the decade that the Penn program has been there, they’ve succeeded in helping to lower HIV transmission rates from mothers to babies from 40 percent to 2 percent. These are incredible, measurable results for patients. It is also a phenomenal educational opportunity for our students, who are exposed to a different range of diseases there and have strongly instilled in them the importance of public service.
Celebrating the special spirit that has permeated the School since – well, despite my gray hair, I can’t speak to the whole 250 years – I was a student. Part of what makes Penn special can’t be learned from history books; the School’s strength is best experienced and passed along in the company of alumni, students, and faculty. So, I think these events will remind all of us how rewarding it is to be involved with Penn and that this is an ideal time to become re-engaged.
Event details: Thursday, November 20 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, home of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In addition to Dr. Shah, featured speakers include Dean J. Larry Jameson and Senior Vice Dean for Education Gail Morrison.
What the Innovator Ordered
$300,000 Gift from Roderick Wong, M’03, Lets Students Mix the Right Dose of Medicine, Technology, Business, and Health Care into Their Penn Med Experience
With their dynamic new ideas and excitement for the future, the students of the Perelman School’s newest cross-disciplinary program incited Roderick Wong, M’03, to make his first gift to his medical alma mater.
Over the next three years his $300,000 contribution will increase academic, educational, and experiential opportunities for medical students to collaborate with students throughout the University, including Wharton, the School of Engineering, the School of Design, and the School of Arts and Sciences.
The gift will support lectures, summer student internships and work experiences, entrepreneurial and business plan competitions, conferences, and prizes, among other activities hotly desired by students in the H-MET (Health Care, Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology) certificate program.
The intent: to mix together students, faculty, alumni, entrepreneurs, techies, and others who live outside-the-box and encourage them to collaborate and problem solve in teams to elevate the innovation environment at Penn.
“We are inspired to build a community of creative thinkers and innovators who are committed to finding solutions within the health care industry,” said Diane Dao, C’11, M’16, co-founder and student co-chair of H-MET.
Stanford alumnus J.C. Lopez, M’17, who co-chairs the H-MET governing board of students and faculty, met with Dr. Wong to discuss collaborating and give him a student’s-eye perspective on the program and impact of the gift.
According to Dr. Wong, founder and manager of the health care investment firm RTW Investments, Penn and the Perelman School “have created a special place where medical innovation and entrepreneurship truly come together. From the time I was a student I’ve been amazed by the creative leadership of Penn’s students, faculty, and administrators. This is one place that truly nurtures big ideas.”
He will deliver the inaugural lecture on campus November 17. Please visit H-MET on Twitter to learn more about recent and upcoming activities.
Already seeing benefits are H-MET governing board co-chairs Mitt Coats, M’17, a Dartmouth graduate, and Justin Larkin, M’17, a graduate of Brigham Young University. They are attending the Exponential Medicine Conference in San Diego, and building bridges with the tech community on the West Coast, courtesy of the new funds.
Founded in 2013 by current medical students, H-MET takes a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to solving medical problems at the intersection of medicine, business, and technology by students whose particular interests in business and technology lie outside the curriculum.
H-MET co-founder Daniel O’Connor, M’16, a graduate of the University of Virginia, used his previous experience as a source of inspiration in co-developing InstantEval, desktop software and a mobile app that streamlines the evaluation of emergency department residents.
MIT alumna Jacqueline Soegaard, M’16, also an H-MET co-founder and a Perelman scholar, is combining machine learning and health care information technology. She helped develop an algorithm that automates detection of seizure endpoints on EEG tracings – sparing physicians this time-consuming task.
Ms. Dao is motivated by her public health work in Philadelphia providing equitable patient care to underserved communities, and merging her interest in global surgery with low-cost technological innovation and health care businesses. Through H-MET, students gain knowledge they need to make their own impact on the future of health care.
International experts in health care innovation advise and mentor H-MET students, including David Asch, GM’87, WG’89, HOM’96, Executive Director of the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation, and Shivan Mehta, WG’06, M’06, GR’12, Director of Operations for the Center.
“All of us at H-MET are very grateful for Dr. Wong’s support,” said Ms. Dao. “His gift will make our ideas possible for current and future Perelman students.”
Dr. Wong will deliver the inaugural Roderick T. Wong, M’03 Term Fund for Healthcare Management, Entrepreneurship and Technology Lecture, “Innovation in Health Care: It’s Just Beginning,” on Monday, November 17th at 6:30 p.m. in the Terrace Room of Claudia Cohen Hall
Scenes of Autumn
From hosting students to recognizing donors and preparing for 250th events, there is much to be thankful about this fall at Penn Medicine.
‘Tis the Season: HOST a Student During Residency Interviews
Now is the time to register to host students travelling the nation for residency interviews. Through the HOST (Host Our Students as they Travel) program, 4th-year medical students are matched with alumni who provide lodging, meals, local knowledge, and encouraging words.
Students are eager not just to reduce expenditures, but also to meet you and to hear your practical advice, career insights, and guidance. Please sign up for HOST today.
Recognizing Loyalty: Great Gifts of the Past Year Recognized in People Supporting Penn
See the changes brought about by donors to Penn Medicine and to Penn this past fiscal year, and enjoy vibrant photos of campus at the People Supporting Penn website.
The Penn Medicine pages highlight Medical Alumni Advisory Council (MAAC) member Dr. Robert Johnson, Jr., C’74, GR’80, M’81, and his wife, Dr. Margaret Liu, who became founding contributors to the 250th Celebration Scholarship Fund.
Brothers Dennis C’69, M’73, Ronald, C’71, M’75, Christopher, C’78, M’82, and Jeremy Law, M’86, are recognized for naming the Joseph and Loretta Law Auditorium in the Henry A. Jordan M’62 Medical Education Center to honor their parents and acknowledge the impact of their Penn education.
Penn Trustee Marc McMorris, C’90, WG’94, and his wife, Marjorie, established the McMorris Autism Early Intervention Initiative, a collaboration between Penn Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Finally, Howard E. Goldstein, D’90, the first user of the Penn GivingPages, talks about his success. What better reason to visit the GivingPages and start fundraising for your favorite Penn Medicine cause. To learn more, go to Penn GivingPages.
News of the 250th
The 250th Celebration event in New York City is being planned for January 21, 2015.
For details and more events please visit the 250th website.
Speaking of January, the Henry A. Jordan M’62 Medical Education Center is on schedule for its January opening date. Naming opportunities remain – please visit here to learn more.