Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:47 am
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received two new endowed chairs in remembrance of two Medical College supporters. The family of Ann E. Heil, a member of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Cancer Center Board, has established an endowed chair at the Medical College to recruit an internationally renowned cancer researcher, and the estate of the late Dr. Robert and Patricia Olson has funded the Robert C. Olson, M.D. Chair in Radiology.
The Ann E. Heil Professor in Cancer Research will serve in a leadership role within the Medical College Cancer Center, advancing key growth areas in cancer genome research and cancer prevention. Ann Heil died Feb. 20, 2011 at the age of 83, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She served on the Medical College’s Cancer Center board for more than 20 years, and was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the College. Heil’s children, Katie, Paul and Peter, established the chair to honor their mother and continue her legacy of supporting cancer research efforts at the Medical College.
“She really lived her life in perpetual gratitude,” said Katie Heil. “She loved life, and I think that’s why she brought joy to everyone she met. Her family was her priority, but she was always involved in the community.”
Dr. Olson received his M.D. from the Medical College’s predecessor, Marquette University School of Medicine, in 1953, and often returned to the Medical College from his Iowa home for continuing medical education. When he established the trust, Dr. Olson wrote, “The Medical College of Wisconsin has become a first-rate institution for medical training and research.” The Robert C. Olson chair will be held by a faculty member recommended by Dr. James Youker, professor and chairman of radiology.
“The professorship will focus on enhancing the department’s education program for medical students, residents, fellows and practitioners. Educating residents in radiology and preparing them for life in practice represents a central function of the department’s education program,” said Youker.
Dr. Olson died in December 2010, and was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia, daughter Mary, and infant son, Patrick. He is survived by daughters Margaret and Jane, and son, Steve.
“Dad loved teaching students about radiology,” said Steve Olson. “He had a passion in challenging his students to dig deeper, look harder, and have care and compassion for their patients.”
“I think Dr. Olson would continue to be proud of the growth and progress of the Medical College,” said Dr. John Raymond, Sr. president and chief executive officer of the College. “We have supreme appreciation for the vision of Ann Heil and the generosity of the Heil family to establish this chair, which will help launch the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center into the upper echelon of cancer centers nationwide.”