Rea gift endows lectureship series
For 60 years – nearly two-thirds of their lives – William and Louise Rea received excellent care at Cleveland Clinic, including from cardiologist Mehdi Razavi, MD, holder of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine. When Mr. and Mrs. Rea passed away, both in their 90s, their son, William A. Rea II of Clarion, Pa., chose to honor them and Dr. Razavi by endowing a cardiology lectureship series at Cleveland Clinic.
“My mother and dad really held Cleveland Clinic in very high esteem, and Dr. Razavi was wonderful to them,” Mr. Rea says. The feeling is mutual, says Dr. Razavi. “Mr. Rea was one of my most longstanding patients, as was his wife, for nearly 40 years. He had heart surgery here three times, and she had two open-heart surgeries.”
Dr. Razavi and the Reas became friends. He says he admired Mr. Rea, the owner of R&S Metals Co. Inc., as an excellent businessman and a generous, intelligent person.
Throughout the years, Dr. Razavi says, the Reas depended on their care at Cleveland Clinic and on Dr. Razavi’s consultations. “He was in nearly constant contact with me,” Dr. Razavi says of Mr. Rea. “He would visit me at least once or twice a year and was so kind, bringing candy and gifts for my staff.”
Mr. Rea was 86 when he had his last heart surgery, his son recalls. Rather than deciding against recommending the procedure based on his father’s advanced age, Dr. Razavi instead assessed his overall health and the likelihood of a good outcome and advised him to have it.
“My father did well with the surgery,” he says. “He lived to be 93.”
Preparing the Next Generation
Dr. Razavi is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the Society of Cardiac Angiography and served for more than 20 years as Chairman and Vice Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s International Center. However, he identifies himself primarily as a clinician, focused on patient care.
“I think the Reas’ gift is wonderful, and I would like to use this support largely for educating community physicians to help them provide better care for their patients,” he says.
This goal pleases Mr. Rea. “Dr. Razavi works for the patient and is dedicated to his profession,” he says. “I hope that the lecture series will help prepare the next generation of doctors to be as good as he is.”
This story originally appeared in the winter 2009/2010 issue of Catalyst.
To make a gift supporting the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure online giving site, or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2273, ext. 41245.