Cardiologist, advocate funds scholarship with bequest
Dr. Carol M. Meils
March 19, 2013 College News - A modern pioneer for women physicians and a passionate advocate for her patients, Carol M. Meils, MD, used her education to dissolve barriers and help others. Her legacy will now be known by future medical students who benefit from the Carol M. Meils, MD Endowed Scholarship, established by her son through a bequest Dr. Meils made to the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW).
“She always felt that education was the most important thing you could give anyone,” said Eric Meils, Jr. “She thought the best thing you can do for your children is to put them through school debt free so they can come out ahead.”
Dr. Meils died April 1, 2012, after an eight-year battle with breast cancer. She was 59 years old. A former critical care nurse who graduated from MCW in 1983, Dr. Meils completed subspecialty training at Johns Hopkins University. She founded a cardiology practice in Milwaukee in 1991. Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare recruited her to initiate the development of a cardiovascular program and facility at All Saints Hospital in Racine. She went on to lead All Saints’ Cardiovascular Institute.
Recognized as a trailblazer, Dr. Meils accomplished many firsts as a female cardiologist. She was the first woman chief resident at Boston City Hospital, the first female fellow in interventional cardiology at Johns Hopkins and, in 2010, Wisconsin’s first recipient of the American Heart Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Her desire to foster the efforts of women in medical fields led to her involvement in the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Women in Science program, a series of luncheon lectures culminating in an awards presentation honoring an established researcher and a researcher in training. Dr. Meils was a founding member of Women in Science and served as Chair of its volunteer board.
This willingness to give back is reflected in the scholarship that now carries her name. Her fund will provide an annual financial award to a female student of diversity at the Medical College who is in need of financial assistance and best exhibits Dr. Meils’ commitment to service in the community.
“Students from the Medical College of Wisconsin’s class of 2012 graduated with an average debt of $172,000. Through scholarships, we can help ease the burden students face as they embark on their careers,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Dean of the Medical School and Executive Vice President. “Dr. Meils’ emphasis on education is well represented by this endowed fund, as is her service to the Medical College.”
Dr. Meils was a member of the Medical College of Wisconsin/Marquette Medical Alumni Association Board, and she regularly served on her Class of 1983 reunion committee, frequently as chair or co-chair. She was also a member of the Walter Zeit Fellowship.
In the community, Dr. Meils was a recipient of the prestigious Sacagawea award given by Professional Dimensions, Wisconsin’s largest professional women’s organization. She received the Business Journal’s “Woman of Influence” award for innovation in 2006, and she was a trustee for her undergraduate alma mater, Alverno College in Milwaukee, but her bedside manner, her enthusiasm and her compassion are the traits that most defined her career and personality.
“She was never too fast to diagnose. She always took extra time with her patients,” Eric Meils said. “Her ability to listen made her a good doctor as well as a good mother.”
Legacy honors women
Thanks to founding members like the late Carol M. Meils, MD, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Women in Science program continues to flourish. Women in Science is a luncheon series entering its seventh year that honors women researchers and provides monetary support for their efforts.
The 2013 series will feature Integrative Medicine and Women’s Health on April 25, Viruses–Small Packages with a Big Impact on May 30, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on June 27, Gender Differences in Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease on Sept. 12, and the Women Pioneers in Research Awards presentation on Oct. 17.
Contact Karissa at (414) 955-4717 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.