Duquesne University President Ken Gormley has named Jennifer Padden Elliott the inaugural Ed and Karen Fritzky Family Chair in Integrative Medicine and Wellbeing. The new role is effective immediately.

Created by a gift from loyal Duquesne supporters Ed and Karen Fritzky, the new endowed Fritzky Family Endowed Chair of Integrative Medicine and Wellbeing is designed for a medical practitioner and member of Duquesne's faculty who embraces a holistic approach to health care.

Through teaching, research, and service, the Fritzky Chair holder will amplify the University's holistic health philosophy of providing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual patient care. Duquesne's philosophy focuses on the total integrative health and wellbeing of patients. Integrative health considers the medical practitioner and patient as partners not only in healing but also in prevention and general wellbeing.

Elliott's career has focused on many aspects of wellbeing and prevention. An alumna of Duquesne's PharmD program, Elliott has created and implemented programs in pursuit of health equity. She has developed cross-sector collaborations to improve the health of children, families and communities through education, research, outreach and advocacy. Elliott serves as director of Duquesne's Center for Integrative Health (DUCIH). Committed to improving the health and wellness of the University's campus and its neighboring communities, the DUCIH provides chronic disease prevention and management programs from pediatrics through adulthood while training students, all in an interdisciplinary teaching, research and service model.

Elliott leads a team that developed a community-based screening model to identify children with undiagnosed and uncontrolled asthma and connects them with appropriate care. The free service is offered in underserved schools and communities throughout Allegheny County. Elliott also created school-based asthma clinics in six underserved schools throughout the county, as childhood asthma rates in and around Pittsburgh remain alarmingly high. This school-based, interdisciplinary model has resulted in meaningful improvements in asthma control and asthma-related quality of life as well as significant reductions in asthma-related emergency department visits.

"Jennifer Elliott's work learning together with students and community members, addressing wellness from a comprehensive and multi-faceted perspective, reflects Duquesne's heritage and our future," says Duquesne University Provost David Dausey. "She and her students are in communities, committed to equitable access to healthcare and to better outcomes, living our mission of helping others."

Elliott is currently working to create school-based health centers, which would provide preventative, acute and/or chronic medical care to high-risk youth. She and her team developed an Asthma and Food Allergy Awareness program for school students, teachers and other professionals. Recently featured in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) journal Preventing Chronic Disease, Elliott also developed a Community-Based Pharmacist Navigation Program that addresses multiple barriers to accessing health care and high rates of chronic disease in African American communities. At Duquesne, she teaches pediatrics as well as respiratory diseases (asthma, cystic fibrosis) and is course coordinator for the Community Engaged Learning Course.

"With Duquesne moving forward with our College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Fritzky Chair and Dr. Jennifer Elliott's work dramatically affirm why Duquesne is an exceptional community partner poised to have an even greater effect on improving healthcare outcomes in our region," says Gormley. "We are so thankful to Ed and Karen Fritzky for their generosity and their vision for what is possible here at Duquesne."

Elliott is the first holder of the new Fritzky Chair. Future appointments will be made on a rotating, potentially renewable, three-year term. Faculty teaching in any of the University's health related disciplines will be eligible for appointment and, once the College of Osteopathic Medicine is accredited and officially open, the Fritzky Chair will enjoy a joint appointment between the home school and the medical school.

"I am very honored to be the inaugural Fritzky Chair at Duquesne, and I am grateful that the work we do in collaboration with our community partners has attracted such recognition," says Elliott. "This resource will bring attention to the University for its collective work in wellness, but most important, it inspires all of us in our efforts to advance wellness and healing in our community and our profession."

The Chair will coordinate the development of clinical care programs, research, and medical education curriculum centered on lifestyle change. Clinical care programs will include campus wellness and preventive programs for students, staff and faculty. Community outreach will include developing community education programs as well as expanding opportunities to provide lifestyle education and support to underserved and impoverished areas in Pittsburgh and the surrounding region.

Ed and Karen Fritzky established the new chair at Duquesne out of their strong desire to support the University's philosophies of healthcare as well as their extensive knowledge and personal expertise related to healthcare.

Ed and Karen Fritzky say they "applaud Duquesne's ambitious efforts to improve human health through research and community involvement. Innovating approaches to health and wellness is a subject that deeply resonates with our family, as does the emphasis on disease prevention and access. We believe professor Elliott's efforts to improve the health outcomes of underserved children embodies Duquesne's legacy and remarkably expresses the intent of this Chair initiative."

Ed Fritzky earned a B.A. and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Duquesne. Following graduation, Mr. Fritzky served as an officer in the U.S. Army and established a business career in life sciences, including serving as Chairman and CEO of the Immunex Corporation, on the Boards of Amgen, Jacobs, SonoSite as well as Trustee of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Ed and Karen Fritzky Family philanthropic efforts have emphasized leadership and healthcare.

Immunex's lead product, Enbrel, was the first biotechnology product approved for the treatment of rheumatoid disease, psoriatic arthritis and ankolysing spondylitis. With hundreds of thousands of patients treated and sales measured in billions of dollars, Enbrel is one of the most successful biological therapeutics ever marketed. Mr. Fritzky led Immunex's effort to merge with Amgen, completing the largest merger in the history of the industry in July 2002.

Fritzky's understanding of the importance of wellbeing is reflected in the national recognitions he has received. In 2002, Fritzky was recognized by Forbes magazine as a "Best Boss in America," and Immunex was recognized by Fortune magazine as one of America's "Best Places to Work."

The Fritzkys are parents to two grown children, and grandparents to three. The family's philanthropic efforts have emphasized leadership and healthcare.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,000 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

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February 02, 2021