A scholarship endowment is an act of love
Whenever Ella Korenman thinks of the famous Hippocrates quote, "Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity," she thinks of her late husband, Dr. Gary Korenman ('60). For 20 years, Ella worked alongside Gary, managing the front office of his private neurology practice in New York City.
"His patients would always tell me what a wonderful doctor he was," says Ella. "They were so appreciative of his kindness and compassion. He was just as devoted to them as he was to his own family."
Ella and Gary both grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and began dating in 1955, just before Gary began his first year at Dartmouth College. Although Ella attended college at the University of Pennsylvania, the couple stayed connected. They married in Gary's last year of medical school at Dartmouth, then moved to New York, where Gary completed his medical training. While he built his own practice, Ella devoted those early years to raising their two sons, Eric (now a radiologist) and Jeff (now a dentist). Once the children were grown, she went to work in Gary's practice, managing the front office.
In 2007, when Gary Korenman died suddenly from a heart attack, Ella knew she wanted to do something to honor him and his love of medicine. "My first thought was that I wanted to endow a scholarship," she recalls.
Establishing a scholarship in Gary's name at the Geisel School of Medicine was a natural fit. A member of the Class of 1960, Gary was an active alumnus of the Medical School, serving on the Board of Overseers, the Syvertsen Memorial Alumni Committee, and the Alumni Council, including a term as president.
"He loved the practice of medicine and he loved Dartmouth Medical School. He felt that the faculty was terrific, and he was so grateful for the opportunity to attend the school," says Ella. "Both loves were contagious." I felt like I was part of it all, too—medicine and the Dartmouth community."
Gary was especially grateful to his stepfather, who generously funded his education. "The most important thing to Gary was education," says Ella, "and he wanted to help others have the same opportunities he had."
Scholarships allow students to go into lower-paid but critically important specialties.
Of course, medical education costs a lot more today than it did for Gary Korenman in 1960. Tuition, room, and board for four years at the Geisel School of Medicine now cost about $280,000. But thanks to scholarship endowments—such as the Gary Korenman, M.D. D'59, DMS'60, Memorial Scholarship Endowment—and current-use gifts, most students pay far less than that. In fact, the Medical School has been able to keep the average debt for its M.D. graduates under $135,000, which is well below its peer institutions, whose graduates have an average debt of more than $160,000. Each year, about 84% of Geisel students receive some type of financial aid, and approximately 53% receive scholarship aid.
"The School is so appreciative of every scholarship gift, especially scholarship endowments," says Gordon "Dino" Koff, director of financial aid for Geisel. "Such gifts allow students to go into lower-paid but critically important specialties, such as primary care and rural health."
That's a message that clearly resonated with Gary and Ella Korenman.
"Gary felt strongly that medical students should choose a specialty based on what they loved, not on what was going to be the most lucrative," she says. Gifts such as hers help ensure that Geisel graduates will continue to be guided by their passions and not their debt.
The J.T. Tai Foundation has awarded more than 150 scholarships to Geisel School of Medicine students over the past 16 years. We are so proud to support promising young future physicians like Jo Ling Goh.
The Dartmouth campus evokes wonderful memories for me: walking the Green, graduate studies at Remsen/Vail, the physiology department, and the Bartlett Tower. I am proud to be a Pinnacle Society member, helping to ensure that the Geisel School of Medicine continues to thrive in perpetuity.
By naming Dartmouth Medical School (now the Geisel School of Medicine) in my estate plans, I can give back to the school that has been the foundation of my career in medicine. I'm very grateful to the Medical School for giving me the opportunity to deeply connect with others as a physician.
Endowed professorship honors McIntyre legacy
"Collaboration" and "interdisciplinary" have not always been buzzwords in academic medicine. These concepts were just emerging in the mid-1970s when Dr. O. Ross McIntyre, director of the newly established Norris Cotton Cancer Center, embraced them as a vision of the future of cancer research and patient care. From 1974 until his retirement in 1992, he fostered an environment in which basic scientists, clinical researchers, and caregivers could collaborate, share resources, and advance each other's work. Under McIntyre's leadership, the Cancer Center grew from a small enterprise to one of the nation's premier Comprehensive Cancer Centers, as designated by the National Cancer Institute.
Now, thanks to the generosity of more than 60 donors, McIntyre's legacy will be forever remembered through the O. Ross McIntyre, M.D., Endowed Professorship at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The professorship will be held by a physician-researcher in the field of oncology.
Steven Gillis, Ph.D. ('78), a pioneer in tumor immunology and cofounder of two successful biotech companies, and his wife, Anne, contributed the lead gift to establish the endowment. McIntyre was a role model and mentor for Gillis during a pivotal time in his training. "I've always had a fondness for Dartmouth and for the freedom and support I was given during my time there to follow my nose and let the results take me wherever they may," says Gillis, a member of the Geisel School of Medicine Board of Overseers.
Dr. John Moran, who like McIntyre is a member of the Medical School's Class of 1955, initiated the effort to establish the chair. "Ross was highly regarded, not only as a caring and highly competent physician and talented investigator, but also as an excellent administrator and a charismatic teacher," says Moran.
In addition to the professorship—a fitting tribute to a man who helped make the Cancer Center what it is today—the Center has another reason to cheer. This year marks the 40th anniversary of its founding, a milestone that will be celebrated this November with another special symposium.
Geisel receives 2012 Schwartz Center grant
Compassion-centered care, the idea of connecting the hard science of medicine with its human dimension, is not a new concept to the faculty and students at the Geisel School of Medicine. DHMC was one of the first medical centers to hold Schwartz Center Rounds, which focus on compassionate care, and compassion has been emphasized at the Medical School for years. Now, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, compassionate care may soon become fully integrated in the Medical School's new curriculum, which is currently being revised.
The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to strengthen the relationship between patients and their health-care providers. Schwartz Center grants are intended to improve those relationships through communication skills, cultural competency, spirituality, and end-of-life care. In addition, for the past several years, the Center has encouraged grant proposals to support programs that engage patients and family members as educators. Since 1997, the Schwartz Center has awarded more than $2 million in grants to health-care organizations throughout the U.S.
This year, the Geisel School of Medicine has been awarded $50,000 to establish a place in the new medical curriculum for compassion-centered medicine, as well as for the Schwartz Center pedagogy of case-centered, reflective rounds. While Schwartz Rounds have been an elective for the past four years, project director Peter Rodis, Ph.D., a Geisel lecturer in psychiatry, hopes the newly christened Connecting Hearts and Minds Rounds (CHMR) will be integrated into the first- and second-year classes as part of the Medical School's curriculum redesign project. Rodis partnered with fellow Geisel faculty member Joseph O'Donnell, M.D. ('71), to develop the new CHMR model.
"The Connecting Hearts and Minds Rounds are an important tool to connect the science of medicine with the practice of medicine," says Rodis. "The students learn and practice their communications skills, as well as how to form effective and positive relationships with patients, their families, and colleagues."
Each CHMR begins with the presentation of a medical case by an interdisciplinary team of providers, often with patients joining these teams. Following the case presentation, student participants engage in open dialogue with each other and the presenting clinical team about issues perceived as important in this specific case or in medicine generally. All involved are encouraged to speak to the personal and interpersonal dimensions of health care.
The grant will also fund six Schwartz Fellows, fourth-year medical students who will assist with sharing information about compassionate care, engage in research on how to make the CHMR a successful pedagogy, and serve as student liaisons. They will also assist Geisel faculty who wish to do compassion-based exercises in their courses.
"This Schwartz grant will help us demonstrate how compassion-centered care contributes meaningfully and essentially to professional development, that it has measurable benefit for patients and the health-care system, and that physicians trained to be compassionate will be more effective health-care providers and leaders," says Rodis. "But, first, this grant will assist us in delivering a medical education that emphasizes compassion, that demonstrates caring for our students, and that consistently teaches about the human value of every provider and every patient involved in health care."
Up, up, up goes the annual fund
Alumni and friends of the Geisel School of Medicine have done it again—the Medical School's annual fund had another record-breaking year. The number of people who gave to the Fund for the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth grew to 1,181, up 11% from last year. Alumni participation was up, too, as was the total amount raised. Friends and alumni made gifts totaling $736,850 during the 2012 fiscal year, which ended on June 30. This brings the latest three-year total to $1.97 million.
Gifts to the annual fund impact every area of the Medical School. Such unrestricted support provides resources to increase financial aid, to fund novel research, to recruit the best faculty, to support curriculum development and classroom technology, and to continue the tradition of training outstanding, compassionate physician leaders.
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