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In memoriam

Stanley Pauley, philanthropist and namesake of VCU Health Pauley Heart Center passed away on Nov. 20, 2020.

In memoriam

Virginia Commonwealth University and the Richmond community lost a philanthropist and a visionary. Stanley Frank Pauley, a longtime champion of advancing engineering and medical innovations, passed away on Nov. 20, 2020. Pauley was an integral part of the VCU and VCU Health community for decades. His legacy lives on through his family and the profound impact of the Pauley Family Foundation, which he and his wife, Dorothy, founded in 2011.

“We are eternally grateful for the deep commitment of Stan Pauley and his family, whose many contributions have forever shaped our institution,” said Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System. “The Pauleys are tireless in their advocacy for innovative cardiovascular research, treatment and care, and they have ensured that VCU Health Pauley Heart Center is equipped with the necessary tools to save and significantly improve lives.”

The Pauley family has committed more than $28 million in private philanthropy to VCU, placing them among the most generous benefactors in the institution’s history. In 2005, the family made an indelible mark on VCU’s medical campus with a gift that named VCU Health Pauley Heart Center.

The philanthropic connection between Pauley and VCU Health’s cardiology practice began in 2006. A longtime patient of Dr. Kenneth Ellenbogen, director of clinical cardiac electrophysiology and pacing at VCU Health, Pauley was impressed by the staff and the treatment he received. He directed his family foundation to make a $5 million gift to VCU Health’s heart center to support a variety of new research initiatives and comprehensive educational programs. In recognition of the gift, the center was named VCU Health Pauley Heart Center, a designation that placed it among only a few named major heart centers in the country.

“Stan Pauley is synonymous with VCU Health Pauley Heart Center. Over the last few years, we have grown into one of the top heart centers in the country because of Stan,” said Ellenbogen. “To me, he is a true VIP. I am thankful to have known Stan and his wonderful family.”

The gift began a long history of supporting VCU Health and advancing its world-class cardiology program.

In 2012, the Pauley Family Foundation gave another $5 million to recruit the heart center’s first director and five new research faculty members, along with startup funds for research staff, lab costs and equipment. The funds also created new research programs in cardiovascular disease prevention, women’s cardiovascular health and congenital heart disease.

Cardio-oncology expert Dr. Greg Hundley was brought on as Pauley’s inaugural director in 2018. To provide Hundley with the appropriate equipment to continue his high-caliber research on preventive heart care for patients at the center undergoing chemotherapy, the Pauley family committed $4 million to build an 8,000-square-foot cardiovascular imaging suite with echocardiography and MRI technology.

“These are phenomenal tools that allow us to see what’s going on inside the body, look at the effects of new therapies we’re testing and see if the therapies are working,” Hundley said.

“The generosity of the Pauley family in establishing VCU Health Pauley Heart Center created a tremendous momentum that has enabled us to attract the best and brightest clinicians and researchers in the country to treat heart failure and heart disease,” added Dr. Peter Buckley, dean of the VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs at VCU Health System.

In 2020, the Pauley Family Foundation pledged another $5 million to support the research of comprehensive treatments for patients with cardiac arrhythmia. This gift will help VCU Health researchers perfect their diagnoses and deliver innovative therapies to treat the condition in an effective, cost-efficient manner.

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