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Jefferson Names Ralph J. Roberts Professorship in Cardiology


Michael P. Savage, MD, Receives Endowed Professorship in Comcast Founder's Name

Michael P. Savage, MD, director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory and Interventional Cardiology at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospitals has been named the Ralph J. Roberts Professor of Cardiology. This endowed professorship was made possible through generous donations from the families of Lawrence S. Smith and John R. Alchin, former Co-Chief Financial Officers of Comcast Corporation.

Dr. Savage is a national leader in interventional cardiology and at the forefront of clinical research on coronary angioplasty, notably placing Jefferson as a key institution responsible for landmark multicenter clinical trials on coronary stenting.

Mr. Smith, his wife Christine J. Smith, Mr. Alchin and his partner C. Halford Marryatt's joint gift is inspired by the leadership and philanthropy of their friend and mentor, Comcast founder, Ralph J. Roberts, and their mutual respect for Jefferson's Division of Cardiology.

"To be honored by these families in this way is humbling," says Dr. Savage. "I am grateful for their support of our program and am honored to hold a professorship in the name of such a visionary leader as Ralph Roberts."

Dr. Savage's research continues to advance the care of patients with heart disease by perfecting techniques for less invasive alternatives to open heart surgery. His far-reaching work includes 190 publications of original research papers, book chapters, and abstracts. Dr. Savage, a Jefferson Medical College alumnus and a member of the full-time faculty for over 20 years, has received numerous awards for his clinical care, research and teaching.  

Both families and the Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University acknowledge Mr. Roberts' many contributions to the Philadelphia community and beyond by giving this esteemed professorship his name.   Mr. Smith is a Thomas Jefferson University Trustee and Mr. Smith, Alchin and Roberts have entrusted Jefferson for their care.

"I thank my friends John and Larry and their families for their generosity and for this honor," says Roberts. "I share their gratitude for the exceptional care provided by Dr. Savage and Jefferson over many years and am delighted that Dr. Savage's work will now benefit patients and students for generations to come."   

Ralph J. Roberts founded Comcast Corporation in 1963 with the purchase of a 1,200-subscriber cable television system in Mississippi. He went on to develop the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider and a global media and technology giant.

"Ralph Roberts inspired a culture of innovation at Comcast," says Mark Tykocinski, MD, The Anthony F. and Gertrude M. DePalma Dean, Jefferson Medical College and Senior Vice President, Thomas Jefferson University.

"We at Jefferson continue to search for new technologies, techniques and research results that will advance cardiac care into the future," continues Tykocinski. "This gift benefits patients, young doctors in advanced training, and our community by ensuring that a physician's position and expertise in the field are funded in perpetuity. We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift."