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Transforming Medicine Campaign

The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
 —Physician Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

New chair honors "Pfeff"

By Kate Villars

Dartmouth Medical School has honored one of its most beloved and respected faculty members with the creation of a professorship in his name. The Elmer R. Pfefferkorn, Ph.D., Professorship in Microbiology and Immunology recognizes Pfefferkorn's outstanding contributions to DMS as a teacher and scientist over the course of more than 40 years.

"Dr. Pfefferkorn is truly a legend at DMS and an icon in the teaching of medical students," says DMS Dean Dr. William Green. "Of significant note is the fact that this chair is the direct result of faculty, students, and alumni requesting that this honor be bestowed upon this truly outstanding educator, scientist, and friend of DMS."

"Pfeff," as he has been fondly called by generations of students, is now a professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology. His gift for teaching and his intellect, compassion, and dry humor have made him an unforgettable and formative instructor for several generations of DMS alumni. He is also internationally recognized as a creative, forward-thinking scientist who has made fundamental contributions in the areas of parasitology and virology. His leadership was also critical to the development of the Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis Programs at DMS. (See the article "An Amazing Human Being" for more on his career.)

At last count, over 400 former students and past and present colleagues had helped to fund the Pfefferkorn Chair. A comment from donor Matthew Dolan, DMS '85, speaks to the motivations of many alumni contributors: "Dr. Pfefferkorn was undoubtedly the educator who had the most influence on both the choice of my subsequent career and on my approach to medical education," wrote Dolan. "I came into his class interested in immunology and infectious diseases; I have spent most of my life following his class focused on it."

The Pfefferkorn Chair will be awarded to an outstanding microbiologist or immunologist who exemplifies Pfefferkorn's dedication and excellence in both teaching and research.

Endowed professorships are a vital tool in attracting and retaining the most talented faculty members, who will further strengthen DHMC's position as a leader in academic medicine. In today's climate of shrinking federal funding for research, these endowments help to sustain pioneering research and its translation into advances in clinical care, as well as allow faculty members to dedicate more of their time to the important work of teaching the next generation of physicians and scientists.

Currently, DMS has 25 fully funded endowed chairs. The funding of additional endowed professorships is a priority of the Transforming Medicine Campaign, and to date the Campaign has received commitments to fund five new chairs, as well as significant gifts towards the eventual establishment of several others.

CHaD marks Hendricks family's generosity

By Kate Villars

AThe Family Center provides a bright and welcoming place within the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) for children and their families to unwind between appointments or during long hospitalizations. Its play area features a play structure and is stocked with toys, books, and games for children of all ages, while for parents it offers information about community and health resources as well as simply a place to relax with a cup of coffee or to breast-feed a baby.

Since its inception six years ago, the CHaD Family Center has been supported by generous gifts from the Hendricks-Felton Family Foundation. Now, the Family Center has a new name—Molly's Place—in recognition of that support. A ceremony in October marked the naming of the Family Center in honor of Amalia "Molly" Zacharias Felton, the loving grandmother of Dr. Leslie Hendricks Fall, vice chair of pediatrics at Dartmouth and a member of the Hendricks-Felton Foundation.

Three generations of the Hendricks family were at CHaD for the event, which included a naming ceremony and a series of talks by Fall and others on "The Joy of Giving Back." The sounds of children playing could be heard in the background as CHaD leaders—including MHMH President Nancy Formella; Dr. John Modlin, chair of pediatrics; and Dr. Bill Boyle, chair of the Boyle Community Pediatrics Program—thanked the family for their vital role in creating the Family Center. Parent Paul Zaslaw and CHaD volunteer Betty Barba added their personal stories about the value of Molly's Place to CHaD patients and their families.

Transforming Medicine

Raising the bar
The financial goal of the Transforming Medicine Campaign for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is to raise $250 million by 2009. Even more far-reaching is its goal of "raising the bar" in medicine. Of questioning assumptions—respecting tradition but not following it blindly. Of erasing boundaries—translating science from the lab bench to the bedside by connecting researchers with clinicians. Of creating solutions to the nation's most critical health-care issues. Of transforming medicine.

Campaign update
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is here for its patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because of the generosity of thousands of friends throughout the communities we serve. Whether helping a child to recover from a traumatic brain injury, providing compassionate end-of-life care, bringing new discoveries to the bedside of cancer patients, or preparing doctors who will be leaders in patient care and medical discovery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock is there for you. We thank our donors for being there for us.

During 2008, more than 31,000 donors made gifts to the Transforming Medicine Campaign—the highest-ever participation in a single year. With contributions for 2008 surpassing $30 million, the Campaign closed the year with a total of $225 million toward its $250-million goal.

Learning more
For more about the Transforming Medicine Campaign, visit http://transmed.dartmouth.edu

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Kate Villars is assistant director of development communications for DMS-DHMC.

If you'd like to offer feedback about this article, we'd welcome getting your comments at DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

This article may not be reproduced or reposted without permission. To inquire about permission, contact DartMed@Dartmouth.edu.

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