St. Vincent’s Medical Center pledges more than $1 million to the School of Medicine

Stephen Wikel, at left, meets with a student on campus
Stephen Wikel (left), senior associate dean for scholarship and professor and chair of the Department of Medical Sciences, meets with a student on campus. Wikel was named the first holder of The St. Vincent's Medical Center Endowed Chair in Medical Sciences
Sept. 3, 2013 - St. Vincent's Medical Center made two pledges totaling $1,050,000 to the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine.

The medical center pledged $1 million to establish the medical school's first endowed chair, The St. Vincent's Medical Center Endowed Chair in Medical Sciences, which will be held by Stephen Wikel, senior associate dean for scholarship and professor and chair of the Department of Medical Sciences. Quinnipiac will match St. Vincent's gift, creating a $2 million fund in perpetuity.

"I am honored to be the first holder of The St. Vincent's Medical Center Endowed Chair in Medical Sciences, which attests to the commitment of our primary clinical partner to the School of Medicine," Wikel said. "This gift will be used to further innovative educational initiatives, seminars and student-focused basic, transitional and clinical research, and other activities to enrich the student experience."

St. Vincent's also pledged $50,000 to create the St. Vincent's Medical Center Primary Care Scholarship, which will be awarded to medical students who intend to pursue careers in primary care medicine and have demonstrated a commitment to community service. Thomas Azeizat, of Yonkers, N.Y., and Ryan N. Barnicle, of Newington, are the first St. Vincent's Medical Center Scholars.

Dr. Stuart Marcus, president of St. Vincent's Medical Center, said, "We're pleased to partner with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine to educate and train the next generation of physicians. These gifts demonstrate our confidence in the school's future, its faculty and the students who will study there. We congratulate and look forward to working with Stephen Wikel as first chair of the St. Vincent's Endowed Chair. Congratulations also go to our two scholarship recipients, and we wish them our best as they begin this important journey into a career in medicine."

Dr. Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, said, "The School of Medicine is honored by the generous gift of an endowed chair and their commitment of an annual contribution to the school's scholarship fund. These gifts represent, in a very tangible way, their commitment to the school and our partnership."  

The medical school is located in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus with the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. The three schools are united not only in the same state-of-the-art complex but by the same mission: to graduate medical and health care practitioners who will be the driving force for a more collaborative, economical and efficient health care system. With the addition of a medical school, Quinnipiac is now educating the triad responsible for primary care-the physician assistant, nurse practitioner and physician.

The 60 students in the first class attend medical school in a state-of-the-art facility with simulation laboratories, examination and patient assessment rooms, high-tech classrooms, operating rooms and electronic resources that enable them to access the information they'll need around the clock.

Students in the first class come from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. The list of schools where they received their undergraduate educations includes: Yale University, Stanford University, University of California, Los Angeles, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, New York University and Providence College. Read more about the class.

The full-time faculty is made up of 22 professors. Many of them left positions at other institutions, including Yale University, Harvard University, University of Connecticut, University of Florida, University of Texas, University of California-San Diego and University of Indiana, to teach at Quinnipiac.

Classes started Aug. 19.

St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn. is a 473-bed community teaching and referral hospital with a Level II trauma center and a 76-bed inpatient psychiatric facility in Westport. St. Vincent's provides a full range of inpatient and outpatient services, and more than 50 specialty and subspecialty medical and surgical disciplines with regional centers of excellence in cardiology, surgery, cancer care, orthopedics, diagnostics, women's and family services, behavioral health, senior health and an array of specialized services. St. Vincent's has been named Best Hospital in Fairfield County and Western Connecticut for 2013-2014 and is ranked High Performing in six specialties by U.S. News & World Report. St. Vincent's, recently the recipient for the second year in a row of the "A" Hospital Safety Score" from the Leapfrog Group, is also one of only two hospitals in the state to receive both the Leapfrog "A" and Nursing Magnet® Recognition, the highest national award for nursing excellence. St. Vincent's Medical Center is a subsidiary of St. Vincent's Health Services, and a member of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic and largest non-profit healthcare system.  

St. Vincent's is the principal clinical partner for the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, and is also a teaching affiliate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and of New York Medical College. The Medical Center is also sponsor of Swim Across the Sound cancer charity. St. Vincent's MultiSpecialty Group, an affiliate of St. Vincent's Medical Center, is a clinically integrated network of highly qualified primary care and specialty care providers striving to produce optimal patient outcomes and experiences. Serving Southwestern Connecticut, St. Vincent's Health Partners (SVHP), a physician hospital organization comprised of 300 health care providers and St. Vincent's Medical Center, provides a strategy to improve patient care while effectively dealing with a changing health care environment, and aligns physician and hospital efforts through active coordination of care and data sharing. For referral to a St. Vincent's physician or more information on programs and services, call the toll-free Care Line at 1-877-255-SVHS (7847) or visit www.stvincents.org.