Dr. Alfonse and Mrs. Nancy Masi, Peoria, will donate $1.2 million to kick-off a fund leading to the establishment of an endowed chair in the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria. This is the first endowed chair established for the UICOMP Department of Medicine.
The Dr. Alfonse and Nancy Masi Endowed Chair of Medicine will support a nationally renowned physician scientist who will enhance the department’s research enterprise while promoting a culture of innovation, scholarship and discovery.
UICOMP Regional Dean Meenakshy Aiyer, MD, says the gift will make a lasting impact on not only the department, but will also elevate academic medicine overall in Peoria. “Dr. Masi knows firsthand the importance of research and scholastic activity in attracting and retaining the best and brightest faculty physicians. In turn, our faculty educate and train future physicians who go on to treat and provide care for innumerable patients,” Aiyer said. “We call that the ripple effect, and the Masi gift will touch the career path of many physicians while impacting the care of countless future patients.”
In speaking of the generosity of the Masi gift, Teresa Lynch, MD, current head of UICOMP’s Department of Medicine, said, “One could speak of his many years of service and all of the positions that Dr. Masi has held, the various articles published, and the awards won, but his generosity with his contributions of time, teaching, clinical care and research are immeasurable and invaluable. He also brought Nancy into our departmental family, and we feel blessed to have them both.”
Sara Rusch, MD, regional dean emeritus, said, “Dr. Masi was an outstanding mentor playing an important role in many young physicians’ lives. His patients loved him. He also was very knowledgeable and thoughtful, filled with curiosity about why certain people were affected by particular diseases. This curiosity led to a very successful research career.”
Dr. Masi came to Peoria in 1978 to serve as the first Head of the Department of Medicine at UICOMP, a position he held until 1985. He was recruited to lead the Department of Medicine and to advance recognized scholarship and research of the Peoria medical school, still in its formative years. As an accomplished researcher and gifted scholar, Dr. Masi has authored more than 220 articles published and cited in PubMed in his productive career. A beloved faculty member, he has served as a mentor and trusted colleague of countless young faculty, residents and medical students. As a practicing rheumatologist, he has touched the lives of many patients.
He completed his undergraduate studies at The City University of New York and earned his MD from Columbia University. He also earned advanced degrees from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. He completed residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Masi also completed a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.
His career in academic medicine has focused within his specialty of epidemiology and rheumatology, and he has held university appointments at Johns Hopkins, University of Tennessee, University of Illinois Chicago, and UICOMP where he currently serves as Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Masi is the recipient of numerous academic honors and awards, including a fellow with the American College of Physicians, a fellow with the American College of Epidemiology, and a master with the American College of Rheumatology. Additionally, he was named the Russell E. Cecil Fellow of the Arthritis Foundation and recipient of the Osler House Latchkey Award from Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Support for establishing the endowment included not only Dr. Masi and his wife, Nancy, but also their children – Dr. Christopher Masi, Dr. Anthony Masi, Amy Masi Shauwecker, and Maria Masi-Kammerer.
Dean Aiyer said, “Creation of this endowed chair is a complement to the rich legacy that Dr. Masi has created surrounding research, teaching the next generation of physicians, and providing outstanding clinical care.”
Those interested in making a gift in support of the Masi Endowed Chair, may contact Kelli Evans [email protected] or go online peoria.medicine.uic.edu/giving/funds and select the Masi fund.