$25 Million Commitment Founds Weatherhead Institute for Family Medicine and Community Health

CLEVELAND - The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a $25 million commitment to launch an initiative dedicated to transforming community health in greater Cleveland and, ultimately, around the world.

During the October 13 public launch of Forward Thinking: The Campaign for Case Western Reserve University, President Barbara R. Snyder shared that the late Al Weatherhead and his wife, Celia, had agreed to pledge $50 million to support programs at the Weatherhead School of Management and found the school's new Weatherhead Institute of Family Medicine and Community Health. The couple said that they wanted the dollars divided evenly between the two schools.

Al Weatherhead, a remarkably successful Cleveland-area businessman and generous philanthropist, died September 20 at the age of 86. His wife, Celia, accepted the University Medal on her husband's behalf during the gift announcement. Dr. George Kikano, the Dorothy Jones Weatherhead Professor of Family Medicine and Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, developed the model for the institute and will serve as its first leader. The School of Medicine's family medicine faculty are among the nation's best, and now will be part of an ambitious new effort to coordinate many outstanding community initiatives into a comprehensive whole – and in turn combine them with innovative programs of education, outreach, analytical research and policy advocacy.

"The potential of this institute to advance our understanding of community health is extraordinary," says Dean Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD. "I look forward to working with Dr. Kikano and faculty and students across the university in bringing this remarkable new program to life. We are deeply grateful to Celia and her late husband, and absolutely dedicated to realizing their great hopes for this effort."

The institute will build upon already robust academic programs that provide medical students opportunities to understand the unique challenges of providing health care in urban areas. The institute also will engage faculty already active in research on the large-scale impact of local interventions to address childhood hypertension, youth obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. The institute's ultimate goals are to develop:

--new generations of true physician-leaders actively engaged in direct care and rigorous research; --extensive studies rooted in sophisticated analysis of huge streams of community health data; and --advocacy initiatives that draw on the institute's programs to support health policy reforms that enhance patient outcomes even as they reduce overall costs.

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine is affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. case.edu/medicine.