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Sandy Schwartz: First Leon Hess Endowed Professor in Internal Medicine
February 13, 2007, Volume 53, No. 22

Dr. Williams, Mrs. Schwartz, Dr. Schwartz, President Gutmann, and Mrs. Norma Hess, widow of the late Leon Hess, and Senator Williams

Dr. Sankey Williams, Mrs. Sue Schwartz, Dr. Sandy Schwartz, President Amy Gutmann, Mrs. Norma Hess, widow of the late Leon Hess, and Senator Connie Williams, at a reception last month honoring Dr. Schwartz as the inaugural holder of the Hess Endowed Professorship in Internal Medicine.

Dr. J. Sanford “Sandy” Schwartz, professor of medicine, health care management and economics, M ’74, has been named the inaugural Leon Hess Endowed Professor in Internal Medicine. 

“Sandy has repeatedly made seminal health services and policy research contributions, particularly to the assessment of the value of diagnostic and therapeutic technologies in medical practice,” said Dr. Andrew I. Schafer, M ’73, chairman of the department of medicine. “But perhaps just as important has been the extraordinary impact and influence he has had on innumerable trainees.”

Dr. Schwartz’s commitment to his trainees is legendary, according to chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Dr. Sankey V. Williams, Sol Katz Professor of General Internal Medicine. “One of my colleagues remarked the other day: ‘Many research fellows have navigated their way to Sandy’s home in the Philadelphia suburbs in the dark of night. I am certain that dozens of Sandy’s students can identify his children by name, and can comment on the quality of his wife’s home cooking.’”

In addition to leading the division where the Hess Professorship will reside, Dr. Williams had an active hand in the creation of the new chair. With his wife, State Senator Constance H. Williams, WG ’80, Dr. Williams arranged for a gift from the Hess Foundation that established the Hess professorship in honor of Senator Williams’s father, the late Leon Hess. Mr. Hess was founder of the Hess Corporation, one of the most successful integrated oil companies in the U.S. He was also the owner of the New York Jets football team.  

“Endowing a professorship at a school devoted to saving lives is a fitting tribute to Leon Hess who cherished life and family so deeply,” said President Amy Gutmann at an event honoring Dr. Schwartz as the inaugural chair holder.

“Sandy Schwartz’s academic investigations have been characterized by innovation and determination—qualities that I believe Leon Hess valued during his lifetime,” added Dean Arthur H. Rubenstein. “The generosity that Connie and Sankey have shown in creating this new professorship grows out of a shared respect for Connie’s father, and is informed by Sankey’s understanding of the possibilities in internal medicine at Penn.”

Dr. Schwartz began his career at Penn shortly after graduating from the School of Medicine in 1974; since 1993, he has been a full professor there and since 1989 has held a dual academic appointment at Wharton. From 1989-1998, he served as executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He is also faculty master of Fisher Hassenfeld College House.

Almanac - February 13, 2007, Volume 53, No. 22