Donor Supports “Life Changing” Research

Sally Kovler

Sally Kovler

Cardiac care patient, Sally Kovler, followed NorthShore University HealthSystem’s (NorthShore) Ted Feldman, MD, from another healthcare provider when he joined NorthShore 12 years ago. She said her admiration for him and his work has only grown stronger over the years. “I support him because he’s been so instrumental in caring for me,” said Kovler, “but also because I respect his concern for all his patients and their well-being.”

For more than a decade, Sally and her husband, Jonathan Kovler, have been generous donors to NorthShore, particularly the ground-breaking research of Dr. Feldman, Director of the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory at NorthShore Evanston Hospital. That research supports novel therapies for alternatives to open heart surgery. “We donate out of respect for Dr. Feldman and because his research is life-changing work,” said Kovler.

Their gifts to NorthShore’s Interventional Cardiology Research Fund have supported key nurse research coordinators and an advanced fellowship for a physician in training. “Without philanthropic support, we would be unable to be involved in the leading-edge research projects we have going on,” said Dr. Feldman. “This support makes tangible advances in medicine possible.”

With a new height of achievement, EVEREST (Endovascular Valve Edge-to-Edge Repair Study) is emblematic of decades-long research that has come to fruition in recent years. Dr. Feldman just published a book about EVEREST and the use of a catheter to place a device called a MitraClip to improve heart muscle function for patients with mitral valve regurgitation, shown to be safer for patients for whom open-heart surgery is too risky.

Kovler said their family foundation is fortunate to be able to support Dr. Feldman's research.

“NorthShore is fabulous and it’s a pleasure to support the system,” said Kovler. “It’s a very special place and I know our gifts will change the outcome for cardio patients today and down the line. Research is the future,” she said.

While research tends to take years to unfold, Dr. Feldman said he has already seen several new therapies become available for patients. “I run into people once a week who tell me they know someone I treated with a new therapy. They tell me what a difference it’s made in their lives. That’s palpable.”  

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