Pitt’s Medical School to Receive $325,000 for Gerald E. McGinnis Sleep Medicine Fellowships

Issue Date: 
January 29, 2007

Pitt’s School of Medicine has received a pledge of $325,000 from the Respironics Foundation to fund a new fellowship program in sleep medicine.

A one-year clinical training experience, the Gerald E. McGinnis Fellowship in Sleep Medicine, will be offered in the Pitt medical school’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine.

The fellowship is named after Pitt graduate Gerald E. McGinnis (ENGR ’60), founder and chair of Respironics Inc., a Murrysville-based company that creates devices to assist people with sleep and respiratory disorders. Respironics’ $325,000 pledge will be paid in equal installments of $65,000 over the next five years.

Dedicated to advancing the new specialty of sleep medicine, the fellowship’s clinical faculty looks forward to recruiting new McGinnis fellows, according to Charles W. Atwood Jr., a Pitt professor of medicine and director of the medical school’s sleep medicine fellowship program.

“This gift comes at a crucial time, as we develop and grow our program. Every day, we are learning more about the importance of sleep and the role of sleep in maintaining health,” Atwood said.

One of approximately 45 such programs nationwide and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Pitt’s sleep medicine fellowship program will lead to board eligibility in sleep medicine. The program will include multiple disciplines—pulmonary medicine, psychiatry, neurology, pediatrics, and psychology—and will emphasize a comprehensive approach to sleep medicine and patients with sleep disorders.

Fellows will be selected based on prior achievement and the potential for making a significant contribution to sleep medicine.