This story originally appeared in the Fall 2015 issue of the Life.Giving.Breakthroughs. donor newsletter.
When businessman Martin Trust met Allan Ropper, MD, executive vice chair of the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, he was delighted to learn about their similar roots. “He went to the Bronx High School of Science; I went to Brooklyn Technical High School,” Martin says. “We’ve had many conversations recalling our experiences in New York City. Those talks were the basis for what’s become an important relationship for me—in both personal and medical terms.”
That close, multifaceted relationship was key to the decision by Martin and his wife, Diane, to establish the Martin and Diane Trust Distinguished Chair in Neurology, for which Ropper will be named the incumbent.
“Dr. Ropper has a unique approach to practicing medicine,” Diane observes. “It would have been easy for us to become fearful and upset when we learned that Marty needed to see a neurologist. But Dr. Ropper’s manner, knowledge, and skill enabled us to approach the situation in a calm and positive way.”
The Trusts’ gift establishing the chair—an honor assigned to BWH’s most accomplished faculty members—leveraged a previously established fund for master teachers. Revered for his clinical skill and ability to connect with patients, he is also an award-winning educator and mentor who frequently contributes to academic texts. He is an associate editor of The New England Journal of Medicine and main author of the world’s most widely used neurology textbook.
“Dr. Ropper is one of our shining stars, bringing tremendous insight, extraordinary skills, and a warmly humorous spirit to his work,” reflects BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD. “As the Trusts’ experience shows, Dr. Ropper is a gifted physician who provides expert care while developing meaningful relationships with his patients and their families. This new appointment will enhance his opportunities to nurture young doctors in developing those same skills.”
Looking to the future, Martin says, “Allan Ropper is someone who really works at his craft. Our hope is that the distinguished chair helps him inspire that same dedication in the next generation of neuroscience physicians.”