May 22, 2009

New School of Medicine Chair Memorializes Founder of Department of Family Medicine

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The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a combined commitment of $1.75 million to create the Jack H. Medalie Chair in Home-Centered Health Care. Initiated with a challenge grant from an anonymous donor, this professorship has been completed with gifts from additional donors committed to celebrating the legacy of Jack H. Medalie, M.D., M.P.H.

"It is fitting to honor the career of Jack Medalie with an endowed chair to support this innovative academic program," says Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine. "The home care program addresses the problem of keeping the elderly with limited mobility in their own homes and has proven to be an excellent educational vehicle for our medical students, as well."

Medalie was a renowned leader in the care of patients at home. He came to Cleveland in 1975 to found the first Department of Family Medicine at the School of Medicine. During his tenure, he led the establishment of three residency programs in family medicine and the Case Western Reserve University Robert Wood Johnson Family Medicine Fellowship Program, one of three programs in the United States at the time.

In a career that spanned nearly 60 years, Medalie had research grants totaling over $10 million and wrote five books and 150 articles/chapters. Among his many awards and honors, Medalie was the inaugural chairholder of the Dorothy Jones Weatherhead Professorship, which is believed to have been the first endowed chair in family medicine in the nation.

"Dr. Medalie believed in the necessity of conducting research, establishing residency training programs, mentoring faculty and fellows and community outreach. Today, approximately 200 department faculty are engaged in advancing the science to improve the health of populations; we have successful teaching programs; and our physicians are serving patients at home in a model of community outreach and continuity of care similar to what Dr. Medalie envisioned more than three decades ago," says George E. Kikano, M.D., current holder of the Dorothy Jones Weatherhead Professor of Medicine and chair, Department of Family Medicine.

Medalie and his family lived in Israel for 26 years before coming to Cleveland. His friends and colleagues particularly remember his role as a combat unit physician and his critical role in promoting the emerging field of family medicine in that country.

Born in Minnesota, Medalie received his undergraduate and medical education at Wiwatersrand University, Johannesburg, South Africa, earning M.B., B.C.H. (M.D.) in 1945. Following residency training at Johannesburg University Hospital and post-graduate work in the Department of Social, Family and Preventative Medicine at Natal University, he received the M.P.H. degree from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1958.

Posted by: Amy Raufman May 22, 2009 03:42 PM | Category: Faculty Support , Individuals , Priorities , School of Medicine , Schools , Source