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Berkowitz Family Foundation Funds Lecture Highlighting Humanism in Medicine

03/07/13

First annual lecture, March 5th, brings Art Caplan, PhD, back to Philadelphia

Thomas Jefferson University has received a generous gift from Mr. Edwin Berkowitz and The Berkowitz Family Foundation of Merion, PA to fund an annual program on humanism in medicine that will attract nationally known speakers. A similar gift was given to The Foundation of Cooper University Hospital, with the request that the two institutions collaborate annually on this educational event.

Renowned bioethicist Arthur Caplan, PhD, the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and head of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, and former head of the Department of Bioethics at Penn, will deliver the inaugural Berkowitz lecture, Why Do We Make it so Difficult to Die Well in American Health Care Institutions? at 4 PM, on March 5th in the Connelly Auditorium in Dorrance H. Hamilton Building on the Jefferson campus. A similar lecture will take place earlier in the day at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

"We are grateful for the Berkowitz family's generosity and are thrilled to welcome Dr. Caplan to campus to talk with our students," says John Spandorfer, MD, the Rogers B. Daniels Associate Dean of Professionalism in Medicine at Jefferson Medical College.

Dr. Caplan's interactive lecture will discuss the personal and ethical decisions involved with end-of-life care and the financial implications of taking every possible measure to extend life. If the patient on life support were your mother, how long would you let her live and to what extent would you try to prolong life?  Dr. Caplan will discuss these very difficult decisions and the physicians' role.   

Mr. Berkowitz is the Chairman of the Board of JE Berkowitz Glass Company, founded in 1920. The company currently operates in a 200,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility that he designed and built in Pedricktown, NJ. It has provided glass for many prestigious buildings including the Comcast Center in Philadelphia and Bank of America headquarters in Charlotte, NC.

Mr. Berkowitz has been a philanthropic leader in the Delaware Valley and around the world. He has served as President of the Uptown Home for the Aged and the Golden Slipper Center for Seniors. Internationally, he is a past president of the Philadelphia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. He has also served on the board of the Bioethics Department of the University of Pennsylvania, under the leadership of Dr. Caplan.

Mr. Edwin Berkowitz, his wife Barbara and their four children all take an active role in the operations of the Family Foundation.

For more information, contact: Lee-Ann Landis, Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals, 833 Chestnut Street, Suite 1140, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 955-5291, (215) 955-5008 fax or email leeann.landis@jefferson.edu.