The Gersztens have been with the VCU Health System for nearly 60 years. Dr. Enrique Gerstzen came to the Medical College of Virginia in 1960 to complete his residency in Pathology. He joined the faculty after completing his training and served as Chairman of Pathology for many years prior to his retirement in 2009. He has received many awards for his teaching and mentorship throughout his career. He is currently an Emeritus Professor working part time at VCU Health System and continues to travel around the world lecturing and visiting his countless mentees.
Ellen Gerszten is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who completed both undergraduate and Master’s degrees from VCU. She has worked at VCU Health System for over 30 years in the Department of Care Coordination and helps to serve countless patients in the community on a daily basis.
The Gersztens are very grateful for the excellent medical care they receive from the physicians at VCU Health System and the Division of Cardiology and have chosen to make this gift to support the research efforts of the Weil Institute.
On April 7, 2017 Bob Hershberger was riding a stationary bicycle in the gym located in the complex where he lives when he suffered a cardiac arrest. Luckily, the event was witnessed and EMS was called promptly. When EMS arrived, they found Mr. Hershberger in ventricular fibrillation and delivered electrical shocks that restarted his heart. Unfortunately, like so many others, the heart restarted but he remained in a coma. He was transferred to VCU’s Advanced Resuscitation, Cooling Therapeutics, and Intensive Care Program under the care of Dr. Mary Ann Peberdy, and awoke several days later from his coma. He has gone back to leading an active, fulfilling life due to the cutting edge medical care he received at Virginia Commonwealth University. He and his wife Margaret were so grateful they donated $10,000 to support Dr. Peberdy’s research to further advance the field of cardiac arrest care. Contributions such as this are vital to provide support for pilot projects necessary to obtain data and further improve outcomes after cardiac arrest. Dr. Peberdy and the Weil Institute are tremendously grateful to the Hersbergers for their generous contribution.