Legacy of care
Schlitt family of pediatricians supports Rowan with $300,000 gift for CMSRU.
Collectively, members of the Schlitt family have dedicated more than 90 years to caring for the children of South Jersey.
Now, they’re making their mark on the future of South Jersey medicine by providing financial support for Cooper Medical School of Rowan University (CMSRU).
With one the largest gifts to the Rowan University Foundation to date for CMSRU, the Schlitts—Drs. Ludwig, Michael, Stephanie and Mark, all of Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group of Haddon Heights—have pledged $300,000 to the medical school.
Their pledge will be used to establish The Schlitt Family Student Lounge and The Schlitt Family Dean’s Executive Conference Room in CMSRU’s new $139 million medical school building in Camden. CMSRU, South Jersey’s first four-year allopathic medical school, welcomes its charter class of 50 students in August.
Clearly, pediatrics is a labor of familial love for the Schlitts, whose 20,000-patient practice was founded by Dr. Ludwig Schlitt in Haddon Heights in 1960. In 1970, Haddon Pediatric Group, P.A. was adopted.
“All three of us went into pediatrics because my father paved the way,” Dr. Michael Schlitt says of his family’s medical legacy. In a few years, the practice will go into its third generation when his daughter, Meghan, completes her studies.
The Schlitts are hopeful that many of CMSRU’s students will pursue careers as primary care physicians, an area of medicine that is experiencing a shortage locally and nationally, according to Schlitt.
“The work of primary care physicians is vitally important,” he says. “We make people feel comfortable with their diseases. Sometimes, you have to hold people’s hands. You end up being not only a physician, but also a source of emotional support. In our case, we’re support not only for the children, but for the parents, too.
“We feel fortunate to help play a role in expanding health care in our state by supporting the medical school.”
The Schlitts have a strong connection to Cooper Health System. Dr. Ludwig Schlitt began his career at Cooper University Hospital in 1960 and some of his five children were born there.
While he opened his office as Haddon Pediatrics, the practice joined Children’s Health Association in 1998. In 2008, the name was changed to Advocare Haddon Pediatric Group. The practice has a satellite office in Mullica Hill.
Dr. Michael Schlitt joined the practice in 1990. Dr. Stephanie Schlitt joined in 1997 and Dr. Mark Schlitt joined the practice in 2002.
“It’s gratifying to see the Schlitts—a family of southern New Jersey physicians—take a leadership role in supporting the medical school and higher education in the region,” says Paul Katz, M.D., founding dean of CMSRU.
The gift from the Schlitts is the latest for CMSRU as it continues to attract support from individuals who believe in the medical school’s mission to provide a humanistic education for medical school students in which inclusivity, excellence in patient care, innovative teaching, research and service to the community are valued.
“Through their generosity, the Schlitt family is making a difference in the future of medicine and healthcare in South Jersey,” says R.J. Tallarida, assistant vice president for development and acting executive director of the Rowan University Foundation.
Previous gifts to CMSRU include a generous contribution from Haddonfield physician Dr. Michael Renzi and his family in 2011 to establish the Renzi Family Clinical Simulation Rooms at CMSRU and a $100,000 pledge from Rowan alumnus Dr. Marque Allen, a podiatrist in Texas, and his wife, Yvette, to establish the Dr. Richard Meagher Medical Scholarship for CMSRU students.