From the Heart
Vivid color and textures fill the walls of Chuck and Char Fowler’s home in Lyndhurst, Ohio, capturing local artists’ unique paintings, eclectic glasswork and sculpture. The homeowners, high school sweethearts married for 43 years, make a conscious effort to fill their home and their lives with what’s most important.
The Fowlers live by the motto, "do good, do well." They believe helping others will contribute toward life’s successes, which motivates their generous support of community organizations focused on improving health and wellness, arts, education and children.
"If you feel it in your heart, it’s the right thing to do," Mrs. Fowler says.
Cleveland Clinic Introduction
Mr. and Mrs. Fowler grew up in a smh5all town in Indiana where, they say, everyone felt responsible for supporting the community and their neighbors. Their close-knit community upbringing inspired their desire to give back when the couple moved to Cleveland in 1988 to partner with William E. Conway, Emeritus Trustee of Cleveland Clinic and Chairman of Fairmount Minerals, a Chardon, Ohio-based industrial sand producer.
After arriving in Cleveland, Mr. Fowler, now President and CEO of Fairmount Minerals, attended Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead Executive Management program. There he met classmates Joseph F. Hahn, MD, Cleveland Clinic Chief of Staff; Robert Kay, MD, former CEO of Cleveland Clinic in Florida; and Jeffrey Ponsky, MD, former head of Non-Invasive Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.
His new study group partners introduced the Fowlers to Cleveland Clinic. Soon after, the Fowlers and employees of Fairmount Minerals began receiving yearly executive health examinations at the hospital. In 2000, Mr. Fowler was referred to A. Michael Lincoff, MD, interventional cardiologist, after his routine examination uncovered a heart problem.
Supporting Cardiovascular Research
As a result, Mr. Fowler underwent septuple-bypass surgery to prevent a heart attack. Grateful for Dr. Lincoff’s care, Mr. and Mrs. Fowler gave $1.5 million to Cleveland Clinic to establish the Charles and Charlotte Fowler Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Research.
Dr. Lincoff, Vice Chairman, Cardiovascular Medicine Research, is the first physician to hold the endowed chair. Dr. Lincoff plans to use the endowed chair funds to support select graduate fellows’ research and promising departmental studies, such as percutaneous replacement of cardiac valves, identification of genetic markers and therapy for heart disease, advancements in blood-thinning medications and improvements in stem cell therapy and lipid-lowering agents.
Next Generation of Innovators
The Fowlers feel privileged to help Dr. Lincoff pursue his research goals and provide funds to support the next generation of innovators at Cleveland Clinic.
"Dr. Lincoff is very passionate about his research, and he needs young medical people to continue the research," Mr. Fowler says. "Our expectation for the chair is not only for him to continue current research efforts, but to expand as well."
Mr. and Mrs. Fowler are pleased to support research initiatives while they can still see the impact.
"We’re glad to know where our finances are going," Mrs. Fowler says. "We made a choice that we feel good about and that we know will definitely help other people." Mr. Fowler adds, "We would much rather do this now while we can enjoy it, rather than be a name up on the wall."
Story originally featured in Cleveland Clinic Magazine, Winter 2008.