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St. Joseph’s Hospital receives $1M gift to create new cardiology fellowship program


Honoring Flinn Foundation founder while supporting talented cardiologists in training

Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center has received a $1 million gift from the Flinn Foundation to permanently endow a new fellowship program supporting promising new physicians training in cardiology. The grant honors the legacy of Robert S. Flinn, MD, an influential medical leader and cardiologist affiliated with St. Joseph’s for nearly 50 years.

The Dr. Robert S. Flinn Cardiology Fellowship Program at St. Joseph’s will support three-year general cardiovascular training for talented physicians who have previously completed an internal medicine residency program. The selection process is already underway to identify the first two fellows, who will enter the newly christened program starting in 2016.

Dr. Flinn was a native Arizonan who attended Harvard Medical School and trained as a cardiologist before beginning practice in Phoenix in the 1930s. During his 50-year career, he headed the cardiology and electrocardiology departments at St. Joseph’s, and served as the hospital’s chief of medical staff. Dr. Flinn also held the position of president for state and county medical societies, and was co-founder and first president of the Arizona affiliate of the American Heart Association.

“We are grateful and honored to establish the Dr. Robert S. Flinn Cardiology Fellowship Program at St. Joseph’s,” said Patty White, president and CEO of the hospital. “This grant reflects a shared commitment by both organizations to support medical education and accelerate cardiology research for the benefit of the community we serve.”

St. Joseph’s Hospital has been treating patients in Phoenix for more than 120 years—longer than any other existing medical provider. As the flagship facility of Dignity Health, the fifth-largest hospital system in the nation, it is home to internationally renowned Barrow Neurological Institute, the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, Norton Thoracic Institute, The University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s and Creighton University School of Medicine, Phoenix Regional Campus. The hospital is also a respected center for orthopedics, internal medicine, and primary and critical care.

The cardiology fellowship program was established in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Flinn Foundation, a privately endowed grant-making organization founded in 1965 by Dr. Flinn and his wife, Irene. Located less than a mile from St. Joseph’s Hospital in the center of Phoenix, the foundation’s core mission is to improve the quality of life in Arizona, with a focus on advancing medical education and biomedical research.

“In this very special year for the Flinn Foundation, we wanted to honor the legacy and vision of Robert and Irene Flinn by giving back to the hospital where Dr. Flinn built his reputation for excellence and leadership as a physician,” said Jack B. Jewett, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “But this is also a time to look ahead. This gift for medical education and research is one that addresses Arizona’s long-term needs, and one that would make Dr. and Mrs. Flinn very proud.”

“Ultimately, this gift will benefit countless patients in need of top-notch cardiology care, which they will find right here at St. Joseph’s,” added White. “We are very appreciative of our relationship with the Flinn Foundation to support our healing mission.”

St. Joseph’s Center for Advanced Heart Disease is a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular services, consistently achieving to top health-industry rankings. The offers cutting-edge preventive, diagnostic and treatment services, while research programs support physicians and scientists dedicated to investigating and discovering new and powerful therapies to enhance patient care. The center is known for providing high quality heart care with a personalized approach for patients and their loved ones.

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