AURORA, Colo (May 14, 2009) – Often, patients don’t care how much a doctor knows, until they know how much a doctor cares. We take as a given a physician’s knowledge and technical skill. However, that old-fashioned bedside manner is important to most of us, especially after we experience it first hand.

Martha Frey Dillenberg and Tom Dillenberg experienced outstanding medical care from cardiologist Peter Buttrick, MD, at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine. Yet it was when he touched their hearts with his compassion that they were inspired to make a donation in his honor.

“Dr. Buttrick took us under his wing, gave us personal care,” Martha said. “He explained everything so well. He even called us at home later to see how we were doing. We decided that kind of quality and caring needs funding.”

The Dillenbergs are giving a total of $1.875 million, to support Buttrick’s cardiology research, the cardiology division in the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado Denver, and to establish a First Tee scholarship program. The gift was facilitated by the University of Colorado Foundation.

“Part of the generous gift from Tom and Martha will go to support the on-going research in the division, focused on the cellular mechanisms of heart failure,” Buttrick said. “The balance which is in trust will allow us to plan for the long term research growth of the division. Gifts of this sort are critically important to our academic mission and allow us the freedom to pursue new research directions. We are overwhelmingly grateful to the Dillenbergs for their generosity.”

A graduate of University of Colorado at Boulder (A&S’70) and as the first director of major gifts at the University of Colorado Foundation, Martha understands the need for philanthropic support. Tom understands it as well. An avid golfer, he has designated $125,000 to establish an endowed undergraduate scholarship. Students of all backgrounds who have participated in a Colorado First Tee Chapter, which teaches golf and its inherently positive values, will be eligible to apply.

Martha and Tom feel confident that their gifts will have an impact on many levels, from helping young people pursue their education to advancements in cardiology research and education about the essential role that a compassionate bedside manner can play in a patient’s recovery.

The University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine faculty work to advance science and improve care as the physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is part of the University of Colorado Denver, one of three campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the CU Denver newsroom online.

Contact: Jacque Montgomery, 303.724.1528, [email protected]

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