Pat and Milton McGregor Give to Heart and Vascular Center
When Robert C. Bourge, M.D., professor of medicine and director of UAB’s Division of Cardiovascular Disease, contacted Milton McGregor and his wife, Pat, to request funds toward a new cardiology system, the couple was amazed at the timing. “A good friend in Montgomery had been participating in a study for heart patients,” Mr. McGregor says. “She had to travel multiple times to the Texas Heart Institute at the Texas Medical Center in Houston over a period of six months—sometimes twice a week.”
When McGregor discovered that the device for which Dr. Bourge sought support was like the one in Houston, he told Bourge to return any money he had already received and that he would write a check for the whole amount. “It was meant to be,” Mrs. McGregor says.
“I was delighted when Mr. McGregor offered to underwrite the purchase of the entire system,” Dr. Bourge says. “I approached him because he had previously expressed his appreciation for the care he and his family have received at UAB, and he has supported so many worthy causes in Alabama with significant gifts.”
Acquired in early 2008, the Webster NOGA Biosense system has been up and running since April. After the lab was re-configured and the machine installed, Brigitta Brott, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease, traveled to Cincinnati for training. According to Dr. Bourge, the device creates a three-dimensional map of the heart, which helps guide the physician to inject growth agents, or even the patient’s own stem cells, where they’re needed to help the heart repair itself. Because all of this can be accomplished without open-heart surgery, the patient is at far less risk of serious complications.
“Our division strives to stay on the leading edge of developments in cardiovascular disease research and clinical care,” Bourge continues. “To do so, we rely not only on the significant grant support our investigators receive, but also on philanthropic gifts from grateful patients and families. UAB has been invited to participate in multiple clinical trials using this device, and thanks to the McGregors’ gift, we became the only academic medical center in the Southeast to acquire it. Without the immediate generosity of Mr. and Mrs. McGregor, the purchase of the device would have been significantly delayed.”
Mr. McGregor adds, “We are extremely excited about being part of the progress. Our friend is living proof that this device works, so it’s wonderful that UAB now has this capability. I’m proud Dr. Bourge called and asked about this. We feel it’s very important to support UAB and Birmingham in this way.”