Ricanati family plays key role in supporting med students

Edmond and Marlene Ricanati

In telling her family’s history, Marlene Ricanati describes Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine as a main character. Now, thanks to her generosity, the Ricanati family plays an important role in the school’s future.

Ricanati is a steadfast supporter of the School of Medicine annual fund, directing her gifts to the school’s most timely needs, from providing first-year students with stethoscopes to offering emergency financial assistance for students facing unforeseen challenges.

“I can’t fund a full scholarship,” Ricanati said, “but I can still help in small ways.” 

She also established the endowed Edmond S. Ricanati, MD, Award in honor of her late husband. Presented annually to three faculty members and two senior medical students, the award recognizes excellence in facilitating small-group learning—a particular passion for its namesake.

Edmond Ricanati earned his medical degree in France and was determined to become a physician in the U.S. He moved to Cleveland in 1961 and met faculty members whose connections ultimately helped him complete his internal medicine residency at University Hospitals and a nephrology fellowship in Boston. He later joined MetroHealth Medical Center where he worked as a nephrologist for 40 years, and was on faculty at CWRU School of Medicine for 22 years, attaining the title of professor in 1990.

Edmond and Steven Ricanati pose for a photo in their academic regalia
Edmond and Steven Ricanati

The couple’s son, Steven Ricanati, MD (MED ‘95), continues the family legacy, not only as an attending physician in internal medicine at MetroHealth—where he works with his wife, Ellen Gelles, MD (MED ‘94)—but also as associate professor, associate dean of student affairs and dean of the Joseph Wearn Society at the School of Medicine.

Marlene and Edmond Ricanati’s other daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Ricanati, MD (MED ‘97), also stays involved with Case Western Reserve as a member of the Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway Advisory Committee at the School of Medicine. She practices internal medicine in Santa Monica, California.

“We all owe a lot to Case Western Reserve,” said Marlene Ricanati. “Supporting the School of Medicine makes me very happy and helps me remember my husband.