With a $1 million gift, Sonja and James Bartlett, together with the Bartlett family, have established the Bartlett Family Associate Professorship in Gastrointestinal Oncology in gratitude for the excellent physician who cared for James’s father, Robert Bartlett, D.M.D., through the course of his illness and in his final days.
The associate professorship’s inaugural holder, Manish A. Shah, M.D., director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology program at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, treated the late Dr. Bartlett for cancer until he passed away in 2014.
“Our family is so grateful to Dr. Shah for his care of my father,” says James Bartlett. “We could not think of a better way to both honor my father and support the work of Dr. Shah, and the future of gastrointestinal oncology research at Weill Cornell.”
Dr. Bartlett felt strongly that a doctor should be smart and committed to providing the best possible care to patients, says another son, Bob, and after seeking treatment at Weill Cornell, he found that in Dr. Shah.
Dr. Shah believes we are in a new era of our understanding of gastrointestinal malignancies. His research focuses specifically on drug development, understanding mechanisms of resistance, the heritability of the disease, and the use of aggressive treatments tailored for individual patients and their particular strain of cancer. Dr. Shah, also a dedicated educator and physician, is passionate about his work and thankful for the Bartletts’ support.
“It was a privilege to get to know Dr. Bartlett and his family during the two years that he was under my care,” says Dr. Shah, co-director of the Center for Advanced Digestive Care. “I have become very close to the Bartletts, and am very appreciative of their willingness to establish this associate professorship. I am honored to be the inaugural holder and believe that the generosity and foresight of the Bartlett family will help ensure the best possible future for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.”
“My family was extremely happy and confident in my father’s care under Dr. Shah,” says Bob Bartlett. “It was a terrible experience to go through, but it was a lot easier with Dr. Shah as our doctor.”
This article first appeared in the February 2015 issue of Milestones magazine.