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Grateful Patient Honors Dr. Frank Ittleman with $1 Million Gift

Frank Ittleman, M.D.
Professor of Surgery Frank Ittleman, M.D. (Photo by Raj Chawla, UVM Medical Photography)

A former patient of cardiothoracic surgeon Frank Ittleman, M.D. has donated $1 million to Fletcher Allen Health Care to establish a professorship in his name at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. The creation of the Frank P. Ittleman Professorship will be used to help the hospital and the College attract and retain a nationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon in the future.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, and an acquaintance were both treated successfully in recent years by Ittleman, who is chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Fletcher Allen and a professor of surgery at the College of Medicine. Those positive experiences motivated the gift.  The donor was also inspired by a $1 million challenge grant in June, 2012 from Tom and Mary Evslin of Stowe to support advanced cardiology research at Fletcher Allen and the College.

“I am humbled, proud, and pleased,” says Ittleman. “I do want to make clear, however, that this gift is not about me. It is a reflection on the institution as a whole and all the people who work here every day. Without the floor nurses, the administrative staff, the ICU and operating room teams, the technicians who run the heart-lung machine – everyone really – we could not have experienced the successes we have had over the years. It truly is a team effort.”

“This gift is a testament to the excellent care Dr. Ittleman and our cardiothoracic surgical team provide to every one of our patients,” said John R. Brumsted, M.D., president and CEO of Fletcher Allen. “I hope news of this very generous donation will make all the residents of our region aware of the first rate care we provide. My congratulations to Dr. Ittleman for this well-deserved recognition.”

“The Ittleman Professor will provide superb clinical expertise, excellent training for our medical students and residents, and continued innovation with new procedures,” said Marion Couch, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., professor and interim chair of the Department of Surgery.

In addition to leading the cardiothoracic surgery program, Ittleman has served in numerous leadership positions during his 30-year career at UVM/Fletcher Allen, including executive vice chair of surgery and associate vice president for operations for the UVM Medical Group.

Ittleman earned his medical degree at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and began his career at Case Western Reserve University and other hospitals in Cleveland before coming to the UVM College of Medicine and what was then the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in 1980.

Learn more about Ittleman and his philosophy of care.

(Note: Carla Beecher of the UVM Foundation contributed to this release.)