The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry has received a $1.5 million commitment from Clifton Springs resident Marjorie B. Morris to establish an endowed professorship to advance cardiac surgery techniques and programs. She was inspired by the expertise and compassion provided by heart surgeon Peter A. Knight, M.D.
“The care I received was excellent and I was able to go home within a week,” said Morris, who raised three children with her late husband, I.A. “Drew” Morris, longtime owner of G.W. Lisk Company.
She met Knight after experiencing weakness and difficulty breathing caused by a faulty mitral valve. Knight replaced the valve, resolving the life-threatening situation, and restoring her energy which allowed her to continue enjoying time with her family, gardening and the arts.
“The personal contact with Dr. Knight and his reassurance throughout the process was wonderful,” Morris said. She created the Marjorie B. Morris Endowed Professorship in Cardiac Surgery to demonstrate her gratitude and support for advancing cardiac care. Knight was installed as the inaugural Morris Professor on July 24.
“I am struck by Mrs. Morris’ altruism and honored to have been trusted with caring for her health and to be the first person to hold the Marjorie B. Morris Endowed Professorship in Cardiac Surgery,” Knight said.
Knight studied at Dickinson College and earned his medical degree at New York Medical College. He completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at URSMD, joined the faculty in 1989 and was named professor in 2012. In addition to providing excellent patient care, he supervises cardiothoracic fellows and residents and mentors pre-med students interested in cardiothoracic surgical research.
“We are deeply grateful for Mrs. Morris’ generosity as we establish this professorship to further patient care, research and education,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., CEO of the Medical Center and UR Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “First-rate surgeons like Peter Knight are part of what attracted me to practice medicine in Rochester. Peter, in particular, makes our community a great place to receive care.”
UR Medicine’s cardiac surgeons are at the forefront of the use of cardiac assist devices and advanced surgical treatments, such as the implantation of pacemakers and heart transplants. Knight is expanding URMC’s research into less-invasive technology and procedures to improve outcomes for patients.
David C. Linehan, M.D., chair of Surgery and the Seymour I. Schwartz Professor in Surgery, said “success stories like Marjorie Morris’ make us proud and serve as an important reminder of the impact our physicians and care teams have on each person. Dr. Peter Knight is an outstanding cardiac surgeon who shows unwavering commitment to the well-being of his patients. He is highly deserving of this honor.”