November 03, 2009

102-Year-Old Retired Physician Pledges $750,000 to Support Communicable Disease Research

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Endowed fellowship will support HIV/AIDS research in immediate future

Amy Kuhn Feldstein, M.D. (FSM '28, MED '31) has made a $750,000 will commitment to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her bequest will create the Amy Kuhn Feldstein, M.D. Faculty Fellowship that will support research for the prevention and treatments of communicable disease, such as HIV/AIDS.

Feldstein's gift was inspired in part by the School of Medicine's commitment to developing effective prevention measures for the spread of HIV in women. Also inspiring her gift is research by Michael Lederman, M.D., the Scott R. Inkley Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and physician at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, on a potential topical strategy that could decrease or even prevent the sexual transmission of HIV.

"We are moving closer to a day when our developments may become a safe, affordable and effective method for all women—from America to Africa to Asia—to protect themselves from HIV infection," said Lederman. "Dr. Feldstein's commitment will help advance research to prevent this devastating disease."

While Feldstein was motivated by the goal of helping end HIV/AIDS, she recognized the need for an endowed research fellowship to have a broader focus.

"Dr. Feldstein understands that the fight against communicable disease is constantly evolving," said Pamela B. Davis, dean and vice president for medical affairs at the School of Medicine. "An endowment will be here two hundred years from now–long after the HIV vaccine is developed. Yet it will still be in place for much needed research for new drug resistant strains and for the infectious diseases of the future."

Feldstein's cumulative lifetime giving to the university is nearly $1.2 million. Her previous gifts—including the proceeds from a gift of property—have supported scholarships at the School of Medicine.

"Dr. Feldstein's passion for improving the lives of others is an inspiration to us all," President Barbara R. Snyder said. "Her dedication to her own patients is matched by her commitment to supporting efforts to advance medical knowledge."

Feldstein is a retired physician who worked for the Washington D.C. Health Department for almost 10 years before going into family medicine, where she focused on pediatrics and women's health, including community education about contraception.

"I've had a very good life," says Feldstein, who recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. She attributes her long life to her medical experience and marriage to Marc J. Feldstein (ADL '30) who is now deceased.

"I am glad that my scholarship helps students find the same kind of satisfaction that I have had and hope that this new research fund provides long-term support to advance our understanding of the complexities of communicable disease."

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, November 3, 2009 10:48 AM | News Topics: Alumnet, Alumni, Faculty, Provost Initiatives, Research, School of Medicine, Support Case, news

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