Reiss named Fox professor

Craig K. Reiss, M.D., has been named the Sam and Marilyn Fox Distinguished Professor in Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Reiss, a cardiologist, directs the Washington University Cardiology Consultants and the Heart Care Institute at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital.


Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton made the announcement with Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

The professorship is the second named for Sam and Marilyn Fox, both prominent civic leaders in the St. Louis community. In 2006, the couple established a distinguished professorship in orthopedic surgery.

“Over many years, Sam and Marilyn Fox have given of themselves, both financially and personally, to support Washington University, and we are deeply indebted to them,” Wrighton says. “They have long-standing ties to the University and have championed a wide range of programs and initiatives here. We are very grateful for their involvement with us, their hard work and their numerous and varied contributions.”

“Sam and Marilyn Fox have played an important role in the continued growth of Washington University and the outstanding success of the School of Medicine,” Shapiro says. “In naming Dr. Reiss as the recipient of this professorship, their newest gift will support the work of a very talented, dedicated and admired cardiologist and administrator and help ensure the continued success of the Cardiovascular Division.”

A St. Louis native, Reiss earned a combined bachelor’s/medical degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC). He pursued his internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and completed a cardiology fellowship and then a chief residency in internal medicine at the same institution.

“To receive a professorship named after two such remarkable role models for the Washington University and St. Louis communities is an incredible and humbling honor,” Reiss says. “As a clinician who loves to care for patients as my primary duty and who has the privilege of learning from and teaching medical students, residents and fellows at an institution of this high caliber, it is very gratifying to be recognized in this way.”

In his clinical practice in general cardiology, Reiss has special interest in valvular disease, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia, coronary artery disease and preventive cardiology. Since 1999, he has consistently been listed in the Guide to American Top Doctors, Best Doctors in America and St. Louis Magazine’s Best Doctors.

Reiss has received a Teacher of the Year award from Washington University’s Department of Medicine as well as an Alumni Achievement Award from UMKC School of Medicine in recognition of outstanding service and teaching in cardiology. In addition, the Craig K. Reiss Award for Excellence in Teaching has been established in his honor at Washington University.

“Dr. Reiss is nationally recognized as a gifted cardiologist and teacher,” says Daniel P. Kelly, M.D., the Tobias and Hortense Lewin Professor, chief of the Cardiovascular Division and director of the Center for Cardiovascular Research. “He embodies all of the values of a scholar-physician.”

Reiss is past president of the American Heart Association of Greater St. Louis and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is past president of the Epstein Hebrew Academy and continues to serve on its board. He is on the executive board of his synagogue, is a member of the Maimonides Society and serves on the founding committee of the Missouri Torah Institute.

Both Sam and Marilyn Fox have long played prominent roles in civic affairs in the St. Louis region. Sam Fox graduated from Washington University with a degree in business administration. He is founder, chairman and CEO of Harbour Group Ltd., a private holding company that specializes in the acquisition, development and operation of manufacturing firms. In 2007, President George W. Bush named Fox ambassador of the United States of America to Belgium.

“I have great esteem for Dr. Reiss,” Sam Fox says, “He’s a brilliant and caring physician whose commitment to his patients is extraordinary. I’m happy that he is the first recipient of this professorship, which we have established to acknowledge the role of Washington University School of Medicine in outstanding healthcare in the St. Louis region. The School of Medicine and Washington University as a whole are vital to the area’s high quality of life and its continued growth, and Marilyn and I are delighted to be a part of their endeavors.”

Sam Fox is a lifetime member of the University’s Board of Trustees and serves on its executive committee. He chaired the public phase of the Campaign for Washington University, which raised more than $1.5 billion. In 2006, the University dedicated the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, a new academic and administrative unit, in recognition of his support and service.

Sam Fox has served in key leadership roles in cultural, educational and charitable institutions including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Saint Louis Science Center, Civic Progress, the Boy Scouts, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Among his many awards are the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the Olin School’s Distinguished Business Alumni Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Washington University.

Marilyn Fox has taken leading roles in many organizations, including the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, the Girl Scouts and the Missouri Historical Society. In 1992, she was elected the first female president of the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis and led a successful $17 million campaign for its satellite facility in Chesterfield, Mo.

Among her many honors for contributions to the community are the Jewish Federation’s Magen Ami “Star of my People” Award, St. Louis Variety Club’s Woman of the Year Award, a St. Louis Woman of Achievement Award and an Old Newsboys Day Wetterau Lifetime Achievement Award.

Marilyn Fox has also shared a number of awards with her husband, including Washington University’s Whitney and Jane Harris Community Service Award, honorary doctorates of Public Service from Saint Louis University and the St. Louis Arts and Education Council’s Excellence in Philanthropy Award.

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.