Medical Alumni Association

Why I Give Story

Why I Give Feature:

Remembering Dr. Arthur (Artie) Kreeger, Class of 1981

     

Written by Mark Miller, MED’81 and Joan Devine, MED’80

As I reminisce on my own career including my time at Pitt Med School, those post-exam parties at Zelda’s Greenhouse come to mind as well as the Pirates winning the World Series in ’79 and the antics surrounding the senior class play (Bedside Manor).  The arduous work of med school was certainly made more palatable by the lifelong friendships forged with my fellow classmates.

One classmate, Artie Kreeger, unfortunately, was never able to realize his career dream of becoming a cardiologist, dying in that terrible car crash during his fellowship.  It makes me smile to recall Artie’s quick wit, quirky humor and disarming personality.  In lieu of the career he never had, my wife, Joan (Devine, SOM Class of ’80), and I invite you to join us in collaboration with the School of Medicine in helping to fund a new initiative: The Artie Kreeger Memorial Fund for Education in Cardiology. This fitting tribute recognizes the avid lifetime learner Artie was by funding innovative educational opportunities in his chosen field. 

I had the pleasure of speaking at length about this idea with Dr. Katie Berlacher, Program Director of the Cardiology Fellowship Program.  She has a passion for medical education as she participates in local and national curriculum development for trainees.  She envisions the use of this memorial fund for several initiatives including but not limited to conference travel, hosting visiting lecturers, personalized palliative cardiac communication workshops and advanced fellowship training in specialized areas. Your philanthropic support of the Artie Kreeger Memorial Fund for Education in Cardiology will become a legacy to honor Artie in his posthumous “career”.  For more information on how you can support the fund please email Ed Nemanic at egn4@pitt.edu or call him at 412-647-5395.

Thanks for considering a donation to this memorial fund for our good friend and colleague.


Arthur (Artie) Robert Kreeger was born in New York City on November 29, 1954.  He grew up in Scarsdale, NY with his brother Andy and sisters, Susie and Debbie. He graduated from Scarsdale High School and went on to attend the University of Rochester, majoring in history with a minor in political science. During his time at the University, Artie spent his summers working at the YMCA Day Camp, helping to create and run the Kinder Camp program for children preparing to go to kindergarten. After spending a semester interning at Representative Charles Rangel’s office, where he enjoyed the inner workings of Washington DC, Artie debated whether to go into the field of medicine, law or political science. Finally setting his sights on medical school, he delved into pre-med classes and never looked back. 

Artie’s siblings (Debbie, Susie and Andy; left  to right) recall that he felt so fortunate to be in medical school, knowing he was entering a profession and vocation that meant so much to him. As a consummate student of medicine, Artie loved to talk about his field and share his knowledge with others, even planning to teach after his residency. He did his research in partnership with Strong Memorial Hospital, co-authoring a paper on the pineal gland. Artie laughed easily, was well liked, and was a friend to all during medical school with his quirky sense of humor and easy sociability. He loved baseball and was thrilled to share the experience of the Pittsburgh Pirates winning the World Series in 1979 with his medical school classmates at Pitt. Artie Kreeger combined kindness, humor, and knowledge with an impeccable ability to deliver his own brand of humanity in the practice of medicine.  Tragically, Artie died in a freak automobile accident during his cardiology fellowship.  The Artie Kreeger Memorial Fund for Cardiology is thus established in his honor.