The cardiology division at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons received a donation of $32.5 million this month—a gift the program’s leaders say will go toward patient care, research and education.
The donation, from the Louis and Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust of Sarasota, Florida, is the first in the medical school’s 251-year history to fund an endowment that will provide “broad financial support” for an entire department, Columbia said in a release. Gloria Milstein Flanzer and her family have now gifted the university more than $100 million in total.
Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons is renaming its cardiology division the Seymour, Paul and Gloria Milstein Division of Cardiology in recognition of the donation. The $32.5 million includes $2.5 million that will fund an endowed professorship in honor of Allan Schwartz, MD, the Harold Ames Hatch Professor of Medicine and Seymour Milstein Professor of Cardiology at Vagelos and chief of its cardiology department.
“This remarkable gift will ensure that we continue to attract the nation’s most talented cardiologists and researchers to Columbia, and it will enable new discoveries that improve outcomes for patients with heart disease,” Schwartz said in the release. “It will also help us provide the best possible educational experience for physicians who choose Columbia for their specialty training in cardiology.”
Columbia’s cardiology department has played a hand in the production of some of the most notable CV innovations in recent history, including cardiac catheterization, transcatheter aortic valve replacement and left ventricular assist devices.
“Columbia’s cardiology program is one of the best in the world, and the enormous generosity of the Milsteins will help to ensure its preeminence for many years to come,” Lee Goldman, MD, dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine and chief executive of Columbia University Irving Medical Center, said.