May 04, 2009

$1.5 Million Gift to Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Accelerates Medical Discoveries in Cardiac Patient Care through Translational Research

Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation establishes joint endowed chair


The Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation, a supporting foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, has made a $1.5 million commitment to University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

The commitment, which is designated equally to the two institutions, will establish the Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Innovation at Case Western Reserve's Cardiovascular Center and University Hospitals Harrington-McLaughlin Heart & Vascular Institute.

The gift honors Daniel I. Simon, M.D., the Herman K. Hellerstein Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at UH Case Medical Center. Dr. Simon's research focuses on inflammation in vascular injury and repair. The family foundation was inspired by Dr. Simon's work to promote the translation of cardiac research into patient care.

The newly established chair will be held by a preeminent physician scientist dedicated to advancing cardiovascular medicine through compassionate patient care, clinical research, and training of fellows and residents.

"We believe that systemic change is born at the bench through painstaking science and its subsequent translation to the bedside. It is this understanding that compels us to support physician scientists and to hope that others will do the same," said Robert Reitman, former CEO of The Tranzonic Companies, hygiene and cleaning supplies manufacturer and distributor headquartered in Cleveland.

"The Reitmans' generosity reflects not only their understanding of the importance of collaborative, translational research in advancing medical breakthroughs, but also an awareness of the critical role of institutional partnerships to enhancing care and encouraging economic growth for the benefit of all," said Barbara R. Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University.

By making an equal commitment to both University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve, the family foundation intends to create a model of philanthropy for others that mutually benefits both institutions and promotes strategic investment in the region's academic and clinical health care segments.

"We are grateful to the Reitmans for this powerful philanthropic model that inspires innovation and collaboration and ultimately will turn promising laboratory discoveries into new medical treatments," said Thomas F. Zenty III, chief executive officer of University Hospitals. "Bob and Sylvia's gift will further strengthen the ties of two great institutions that have long been united to advance science and find the cures to benefit not only patients here in Northeast Ohio, but throughout the world."

Robert Reitman serves or has served on the boards of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, Cleveland Zoological Society, United Way Services, Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, and WVIZ-TV. He is chair of the Center for Emergency Medicine Leadership Council, a group of UH volunteers who are advancing University Hospitals' Vision 2010 strategic plan to open a new Center for Emergency Medicine at UH Case Medical Center.

Robert Reitman is a 1958 graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and Sylvia Reitman is a 1982 graduate of Western Reserve College. Robert Reitman served on the capital campaign committee for the School of Law. He is a current member of the President's Visiting Committee and chair of the Amici Medicine program at the School of Medicine.

For more information contact Susan Griffith, 216.368.1004.

Posted by: Amy Raufman May 4, 2009 10:42 AM | Category: Faculty Support , Foundations , Individuals , Priorities , School of Medicine , Schools , Source