Friday, June 8, 2012

Scholar program established


DISTINGUISHED GUESTS: From left, Slavin, Dec, DeSanctis, Januzzi and Ausiello


At age 81, Roman W. DeSanctis, MD, is one of the hospital’s most veteran and most beloved physicians. To honor the legendary MGH cardiologist, the Roman W. DeSanctis, MD, Endowed Distinguished Scholar in Medicine has been established through the generosity of donor Joan Fu and several others. DeSanctis and the program’s first incumbent, James L. Januzzi, MD, medical director of the MGH Heart Center Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, were celebrated May 30 at an event in the Trustees Room.

“Roman came to Mass General as an intern in 1955. He must have liked the place, because he never left,” said MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD. “Over the years he has become recognized as a preeminent cardiologist not only at MGH, but also nationally and internationally.”

Slavin praised DeSanctis’s dedication to teaching and his extraordinary influence on generations of residents and fellows, including himself. Slavin also described how patients adore DeSanctis and said many have expressed their gratitude through philanthropy. 

DeSanctis, currently director emeritus of Clinical Cardiology at the MGH, also is the namesake of a professorship at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and was the first incumbent of the Evelyn and James Jenks-Paul Dudley White Professorship of Medicine at HMS created in 2006. In 2007 he became the first recipient of the prestigious MGPO Trustees’ Medal, which recognizes individuals who have made a monumental and lasting impact on the MGH and its physician community.

Like DeSanctis, Januzzi is recognized by patients, colleagues and students as a leader in his field, Slavin said. He is well-known for his expertise in cardiac biomarkers, substances that circulate in the blood and are useful in the management of many heart disorders. His research into cardiac biomarkers in heart failure has been used to establish international practice guidelines. Januzzi also is a dedicated teacher of medical residents and fellows at the MGH and has mentored many trainees. He co-chairs the Partners HealthCare care redesign team for acute myocardial infarction and has been the team cardiologist for the Boston Red Sox since 2005. Januzzi has published more than 250 articles and edited three textbooks.

“In the 57 years that I’ve been at the MGH, I’ve not encountered anyone quite like him as a teacher-physician-investigator,” said DeSanctis, playfully asking Januzzi’s parents whether he has an identical twin who helps carry out his work.

Additional speakers at the event included Dennis Ausiello, MD, chief of the Department of Medicine, and
G. William Dec, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiology. 

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