Pat Reser and Bill Westphal are passionate about blazing new paths in medical research. The couple recently made a $1 million gift to create the Westphal Research Fund, which will advance research into heart disease and the prevention of the negative cardiovascular impacts of some cancer treatments. “What Providence does in balancing research with practice makes a lot of sense in addressing heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death,” said Bill.

Bill learned he had a heart condition when his primary care doctor noticed an irregularity. He was referred to an institute cardiologist, who diagnosed Bill with mitral valve condition that soon was repaired successfully with surgery.

“Providence doesn’t spend a lot of time bragging. It’s an organization with high-quality people who work hard and deliver outcomes that are pretty incredible,” said Bill, who also serves as chair of the heart institute’s Leadership Council.

The Westphal Research Fund will advance research into heart failure and women’s heart health and help grow a cardio-oncology program that serves patients from Providence Cancer Institute and other providers.

“Going back to our personal experiences with heart disease and cancer, we realize that we are among the very fortunate,” said Bill. “We know there are many things that can be done to make a tremendous difference. What we see at Providence is not something that’s way out in the future—it’s something that’s happening now.”

Pat Reser and Bill Westphal