Three visionary physicians honored with first-ever endowed chairs at Providence Saint John’s Health Center

June 12, 2024

On Thursday, May 30, three luminary Providence Saint John’s Health Center specialists were recognized at the health center’s first ever endowed chair investiture ceremony, the highest accolade for physicians.

Those honored were:

  • Electrophysiologist Shephal K. Doshi, M.D., recipient of the Edward and Mary White Endowed Chair in Electrophysiology, honored for his performance of three “firsts” in achieving leading-edge heart procedures
  • Cardiologist Peter C.D. Pelikan, M.D., awarded the Peter C.D. Pelikan, M.D., Endowed Chair in Interventional and Structural Cardiology by The Honorable Richard J. Riordan and Elizabeth Riordan, honored for helping win congressional approval of Medicare coverage for a technique to treat carotid artery disease and to prevent strokes
  • Psychiatrist David A. Merrill, M.D., Ph.D., presented with the Singleton Endowed Chair in Integrative Brain Health, honored for creating a personalized approach called "precision holistics" that uses individual biomarker data and proven treatments to help with mood disorders and cognitive issues related to aging

“These three renowned physicians have brought revolutionary, academic-level research, clinical practice and results to our community hospital, profoundly changing lives for the better,” said Michael Ricks, chief executive of Providence Saint John’s Health Center. “They have raised the bar on excellence in each of their fields and are among many reasons Providence Saint John’s is recognized by the federal government as one of the top-quality hospitals in the nation.”

An endowed chair is one of the most prestigious awards bestowed on physicians for exemplary contributions to medicine. Funded by donors, the endowed chair represents a commitment to innovation, research, education and — most importantly — to advancing patient care.

“We are incredibly grateful to our donors for their generous contributions to Providence Saint John’s,” said Sheryl A. Bourgeois, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. 

“While a hallmark of most academic institutions, endowed chairs are rare in community hospital settings,” she added. “These endowments will help us to recognize and retain Saint John’s best and brightest physicians, while also symbolizing a permanent commitment to Saint John’s ability to continue the advancement of academic-level research and care.”

Bourgeois credited donors who endowed these chairs for advancing pioneering science and discovery.

The donors are:

  • Edward and Mary White: Edward and Mary White have been valued members of the Providence Saint John’s Health Center community for many years. Edward serves as a Trustee of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation, while Mary has dedicated over a decade to volunteering in the emergency room through the Angels of the ER program. Their philanthropic efforts and commitment to supporting caregivers and the Mission at Providence Saint John’s have had a positive impact. The Whites' connection with the health center deepened when they experienced the exceptional care provided by Shephal K. Doshi, M.D., leading them to endow the Edward and Mary White Endowed Chair in Electrophysiology in honor of his life-changing work and commitment to saving lives and leaving a lasting legacy.
  • The Honorable Richard J. Riordan and Elizabeth Riordan: Elizabeth Gregory Riordan and her late husband, former Los Angeles Mayor, The Honorable Richard J. Riordan, have made a significant impact on their community by supporting various educational, civic and social service organizations. Their personal experiences at Providence Saint John's Health Center, from the birth of Elizabeth’s daughter Malia Gregory to Richard's care under Peter C.D. Pelikan, M.D. inspired them to endow a chair in Dr. Pelikan's name. Their generous contribution reflects their deep appreciation for the exceptional health care they received and their dedication to ensuring continued quality care for all.
  • Cary and Will Singleton: Cary and Will Singleton's dedication to innovation, community and health care is exemplified through their involvement at Saint John’s Health Center Foundation and their establishment of the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy & Entrepreneurship. Their philanthropic journey, inspired by David A. Merrill, M.D., led them to endow the Singleton Chair in Integrative Brain Health, ensuring transformative health care and pioneering research at Providence Saint John's Health Center.

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