About 12 years ago, Sanford “Sandy” Spitzer suddenly
experienced double vision while on the golf course.
His eye doctor referred him to a cardiologist who
determined Spitzer had a transient ischemic attack,
or TIA. At the time, the cardiologist didn’t feel any
additional care was necessary.
This didn’t sit well with Spitzer’s daughter who is
a physician in Wisconsin. She suggested her father
seek a second opinion from her former classmate,
Craig Reiss, MD, a Washington University cardiologist
at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Dr. Reiss recommended
medication and follow-up care to prevent a full-blown
stroke. After a TIA, symptoms usually disappear within
24 hours. However, once a person has had a TIA, the
likelihood of stroke is dramatically higher.
“I’ve been treated by Dr. Reiss ever since,” Spitzer says.
“I believe his care made the difference.”
Less than a year ago, Spitzer had a stent implanted
to open a significant blockage in his artery—the same
artery that caused a massive heart attack in Sandy’s
brother more than 20 years before.
Spitzer’s wife, Gloria, has also faced heart issues.
Gloria’s heart care goes back more than 25 years with
Scott Nordlicht, MD, Washington University cardiologist
at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. After experiencing chest
pains, Gloria had her first angiogram at age 53.
Dr. Nordlicht diagnosed her with small-vessel heart
disease, a condition in which the small arteries of the
heart become blocked, rather than the large arteries.
This type of heart disease is more common in women
and often difficult to detect.
“At Barnes-Jewish Hospital, more doctors are now
investigating heart disease in women, which doesn’t
always have the same symptoms as in men,” Gloria
says. “Dr. Nordlicht works to find the right medications
to care for me. As a result, at age 79, I live a good
life and do everything I want to do despite having
These achievements, combined with the excellent
care the Spitzers have received, sparked a desire
in the Spitzers to broaden this care—and their support.
For decades, they have supported The Foundation
for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in honor of loved ones.
They have contributed to leukemia and palliative care
funds in recognition of family members.
Today, they are excited to support the heart care that
has kept them healthy for decades and they want to
ensure that it will continue to benefit their family—
and the community—for years to come. To that end,
the Spitzers recently established “The Sanford and
Gloria Spitzer Endowed Fellowship Fund in honor of
Dr. Scott Nordlicht and Dr. Craig Reiss.” A fellowship
is dedicated support for young physicians to provide
early experience in medical research in their specialty
area. This endowment creates a fellowship in the new
Heart & Vascular Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
“Our family has been well taken care of and we want to
give back,” Gloria says. “With our gift, we felt we could
attract more cardiologists like Drs. Nordlicht, Reiss,
and Alan Weiss, MD, who cared for Sandy’s brother.”