Dedicated to Patients, Colleagues, Students and Creighton

Dedicated to Patients, Colleagues, Students and Creighton

Gift from family and friends honors the late School of Medicine faculty member Edward Horowitz, MD’78

By Eugene Curtin

The ripples of a much-admired life that ended tragically a little over a year ago continue to wash over Creighton University.

Family and friends of Edward Horowitz, MD’78, have committed a total of $500,000 to the Creighton School of Medicine, to be presented in $100,000 increments in each of the next five years.

Mel Horowitz, Edward Horowitz’s older brother, said the gift reflects his brother’s affection for a school that gave him the opportunity to pursue a medical education when others rejected him because his undergraduate education was in mathematics and not the biological sciences.

“Ed was a very grateful person who appreciated what people had done for him, and he used his abilities to give back to people,” Horowitz said. “He was very loyal to people, and wanted to give back to Creighton. I’m certain he would have appreciated that we have marshaled the resources of friends and family to do some good in his memory.”

Ed Horowitz, who graduated from the School of Medicine in 1978, spent his entire medical career at Creighton. He completed an internship, his residency, a chief residency, a fellowship in infectious diseases, an associate professorship of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a secondary appointment in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, all at Creighton institutions.

He died June 23, 2014, when a vehicle struck him as he was crossing a street. The perpetrator was found to be driving with a blood alcohol content triple the legal level.

Mel Horowitz said his brother exemplified his wider family’s commitment to providing medical care to people regardless of economic standing. His father, now 97, is also a physician, as well as three uncles, and Mel said his brother’s work with Creighton’s Magis Clinic, which serves the homeless and uninsured, as well as his earlier involvement with Omaha’s Indian-Chicano Health Center (now OneWorld Community Health Centers) and the La Plaza Health Center reflected a lifelong concern for the underprivileged.

Few were as close to Horowitz as Creighton rheumatologist Jay Kenik, MD’75, who played tennis with him.

Kenik said Horowitz, who he came to know when Horowitz was a student and Kenik a resident, was essentially part of his family.

“To my kids, he was Uncle Ed,” he said. “He was there from the day they were born and that’s who he was.”

Like others who spoke about Horowitz in the days after his death, Kenik describes a man who was deeply social despite being unmarried, and who was knowledgeable in a wide array of fields.

“He was a very eclectic man, a true Renaissance man, up to date on everything happening in the arts, politics, sports, classical music,” Kenik said. “He was a passionate L.A. Dodgers fan, a very good tennis player and devoted to medicine in all its aspects — caring for patients, teaching and, of course, the Magis Clinic and the students there.”

Robert Dunlay, MD’81, dean of the School of Medicine, said Horowitz’s commitment to people living in poverty was well known and that the $500,000 gift will be used to support medical students whose academic achievements qualify them but who cannot afford medical school.

“One of the things about Ed that always stands out in my mind was what an advocate he was for people living in poverty,” Dunlay said. “This will be a great memorial to him.”

That the money will be used to help disadvantaged students gain a medical education would have pleased his brother, Mel Horowitz said.

“I think I can say without contradiction that his patients, his colleagues, his students, the other professors all knew that Ed wanted only to be part of the team and to improve heath care in the community,” he said. “That’s really the way he lived his life.”