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  • Patrick H. Lehan Chair of Cardiovascular Research

    Division of Cardiology

    Friends and colleagues of the late Dr. Patrick H. Lehan have initiated a Chair of Cardiovascular Research to honor Dr. Lehan’s major contributions to the practice of cardiology in Mississippi. They have set a goal of $2 million.

    Dr. Lehan was a professor of medicine. He died Sept. 25, 2002, of respiratory failure at the age of 73. 

    Dr. Wallace Conerly, the former UMMC Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, called him a “superior teacher and clinician who made our training program in cardiology one of the best in the Southeast and had a major impact on the way that subspecialty is practiced in our state.”

    Dr. Lehan was a native of New York City who earned his undergraduate degree cum laude at Fordham University and the MD cum laude at Georgetown University Hospital, then joined the U.S. Public Health Service as a senior assistant surgeon at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His duties consisted primarily of epidemiology and clinical research in the fields of pulmonary mycoses and viral diseases. He was a resident and fellow in medicine at the Jersey City Medical Center from 1957-59. He took residency training in medicine at T.J. White Cardiopulmonary Institute, Pollak Hospital, from 1959-60, and then was a National Heart Institute research fellow at White from 1960-62.

    Dr. Lehan was on the faculty at the New Jersey College of Medicine for three years before joining the UMMC faculty in 1966 as an associate professor of medicine, director of the cardiovascular laboratory and a consultant in cardiology to the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was promoted to professor of Cardiology from 1968-73.

    He served a term as chief of staff of University Hospital and was director of the Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine from 1970-95. Dr. Lehan’s work with Dr. Angel Markov resulted in some of the first attempts to image the coronary arteries to better diagnose and treat heart disease. “His work brought national attention to the Medical Center,” said Dr. Richard deShazo, former chairman of the UMMC Department of Medicine.

    “Dr. Lehan is an icon at UMMC and in Mississippi. He supervised the training of 75 cardiologists - the majority of whom have stayed in Mississippi to care for our family and friends,” Dr. deShazo said. “He had a quick wit and was a master clinician/teacher who encouraged all to strive for the excellence he demonstrated in his own professional life.”

    Dr. Bryan Barksdale, a Jackson cardiologist who trained under Dr. Lehan, said, “He was the best diagnostician and the most brilliant physician I’ve ever known. All of his trainees loved him. I was fortunate to have been one of them.”

    Dr. Lehan was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, national medical honorary. He received the Silver Distinguished Achievement Award from the Mississippi Heart Association in 1993 and the prestigious Laureate Award of the American College of Physicians in 1993. The author of more than 160 publications in scientific and medical journals, he served as governor of the American College of Cardiology for Mississippi, and as council representative of the Council on Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association for Mississippi and Louisiana.

    The simplest way to support the Patrick H. Lehan Chair in Cardiovascular Research is with a gift of cash. Make your check payable to the Patrick H. Lehan Chair of Cardiovascular Research, and mail it to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Department of Medicine, 2500 N. State St., Jackson, MS 39216.

    Donations may be given in a lump sum payment or annually over a period of several years. Those who give or pledge as much as $500 to the Lehan Chair are eligible to become members of the Guardian Society, the organization that helps the School of Medicine meet extraordinary needs not covered by usual, budgeted funds. If you prefer to demonstrate your support in other ways, consider methods such as securities, gifts of real property, matching gifts, gifts that give back to the donor, gifts through a donor’s will and gifts of life insurance.

    For more information about the Patrick H. Lehan Chair of Cardiovascular Research, contact the Department of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical at (601) 984-5600.