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History of Garnjobst Chair

History of the Garnjobst Chair in Medical Education

WilliamGarnjobstThe Garnjobst Chair in Medical Education was established on November 17, 2004 due to the generous donations of the Providence Portland community including physicians, nurses, volunteers and many patients. This endowment within Providence Portland Medical Foundation was established to ensure and preserve the Medical Education program at Providence Portland Medical Center (PPMC). The Chair was named in honor of retired PPMC surgeon, William M. Garnjobst, M.D. and his wife Carole in recognition of their financial support of the Medical Education Department. Dr. Garnjobst commented on the establishment of the Chair: “I believe funding this position will take the graduate medical education program to a new level. It is our responsibility to teach our new doctors the skills and confidence they need to care for and about all people.” Dr. Garnjobst worked at PPMC for 34 years and twice served as president of the medical staff. Dr. Garnjobst passed away at age 89 years in 2009 and Carole died in 2015 at age 99 years.

David GilbertThe first recipient of the endowed chair was David Gilbert, M.D. an infectious disease physician who had served as Director of Graduate Medical Education (GME) at PPMC for thirty four years. During his tenure as Director of GME, Dr. Gilbert grew the department from one full-time faculty (himself) to fifteen. They collaborated with exceptional volunteer physicians to train residents. Dr. Gilbert served as as past President of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and is an author of the Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy. Dr. Gilbert believed the Garnjobst Chair was a testimony to “The unwavering belief of the Providence family that a strong and ongoing medical education program was a necessity for quality medical care. He also felt this position supported the commitment of the Sisters to the care of all including the poor and disadvantaged.”

John Heffner Dr. John Heffner succeeded Dr. Gilbert as holder of the Garnjobst Chair in 2006. Dr. Heffner assumed his role while serving as the President of the American Thoracic Society. He practiced pulmonary and critical care medicine in both community and university medical centers having achieved rank as Professor of Medicine and gained academic experience as a Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Senior Associate Dean and Chief Medical Officer at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been an international leader in patient safety, quality improvement, understanding pleural disease and evaluation of diagnostic tests.

Dr. Heffner’s reflections on his time as the Garnjobst Chair:

The Internal Medicine Residency at PPMC provides an exceptionally valuable resource for our community by training the next generation of physicians in an environment that respects both patient-centered care and academic scholarship.This blend of advanced scholarship with health care service rarely exists together to this degree in community-based training programs and derives from the long tradition of the medical staff who shaped PPMC long ago in the form of a “mini-university” campus. Many of these medical staff physicians began their careers as university faculty before coming to Providence. And they all retain a commitment to preserving their academic perspective through life-long learning and seeking new scientific discoveries that will shape future patient care. This “organizational DNA” gains expression in the Garnjobst Chair, which allows Providence to recruit accomplished academicians to lead our Department of Medical Education. As the second Garnjobst Chair, I learned more during my eight years from the residents, faculty and medical staff than I taught. But I saw opportunities through strategic planning with our faculty to articulate the added value our department contributes to the Providence Vision of patient-centered care. These planning efforts identified our four pillars: Resident Education, Academic and Scholarly Efforts, Community Service, and Innovation in Patient Care. My eight years as the Garnjobst Chair represent the capstone of my career. I observed with pride how the Providence medical staff and administration continued their commitment to our academic tradition by conducting a national search and choosing Dr. John Mastronarde, a highly accomplished clinician scientist, as our third Garnjobst Chair.”

JohnMastronardeDr. John Mastronarde succeeded Dr. Heffner in 2015. Dr. Mastronarde is a pulmonary/critical care physician who came to PPMC after twelve years as faculty at The Ohio State University where he led the pulmonary/critical care fellowship program and was Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Mastronarde’s thoughts on his appointment as the Garnjobst Chair “I am honored to be chosen as the Garnjobst Chair. PPMC has an outstanding reputation for educational excellence and the learning environment here is truly unique. The dedication of the faculty and the entire medical center to the education mission is palpable“.