Lourdes bestows the Healing Spirit Award upon physicians who exemplify its mission and core values of compassion, commitment, integrity, excellence and stewardship. This year’s winners are:
Ronald Cohen, DO, FACC, SCAI
A Philadelphia native, Dr. Ronald Cohen grew up around medicine.
“I was raised by a father who was a long-time general practitioner. My brother is also a general practitioner and is still actively caring for patients in Philadelphia. I was taught early on to greatly respect medicine and the healing arts.”
Dr. Cohen, an interventional cardiologist with The Heart House/Cardiovascular Associates of the Delaware Valley, earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington and Jefferson College and his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He performed an internship at Metropolitan Hospital in Philadelphia and his medical residency at John F. Kennedy Hospital in South Jersey. He completed his fellowship at the Deborah Heart and Lung Center. Dr. Cohen is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiologists and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions.
Dr. Cohen advanced the carotid stenting program at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center and has been actively involved in the management of both coronary and peripheral vascular disease, and was an early participant in the development of an endovascular approach to repair aneurysmal disease in the aorta.
During his tenure at Lourdes, Dr. Cohen has been intimately involved in teaching resident physicians and medical students. He also has served as a respected and trusted colleague to his fellow physicians.
Dr. Cohen says it is with great respect that he thanks his mentor, Dr. Harry Goldberg, for helping influence his decision to become a cardiologist. “Dr. Goldberg’s care at a time without today’s technology was not only clinically astute, but very empathetic and loving towards patients.”
It is that same empathetic care toward patients that Dr. Cohen says drew him to Lourdes. “I fondly remember how the Franciscan sisters helped to build and carry out the guiding mission of the hospital. Sister Elizabeth Corry and the nuns established an unwavering commitment to the community. This meaningful commitment was understood and honored by everyone—and continues to this day. It is a kinder, friendlier attitude towards managing patients.”
Dr. Cohen appreciates that philosophy on a personal level as well. “I have a precious memory of seeing my son, Steven, born at Lourdes. I am forever grateful for the excellent care which was given to my wife and son by the Lourdes physicians and staff.”
Dr. Cohen added, “I’m proud to be a part of the Lourdes family—to share the values, the engagement with the community and the desire to do good, which have been the principles guiding Lourdes throughout the years.”
Dr. Cohen resides in the Society Hill section of Philadelphia.
Stuart Mest, MD, FCCP, FACP
Stuart Mest’s desire to heal began early on. The only question was which type of healing he would pursue.
“As I was growing up, I debated what I wanted to do. I thought of becoming a rabbi because I appreciated the spiritual healing that rabbis provide. On the other hand, I thought about becoming a physician. Again, I liked the idea of helping someone heal. I was always strong in math and science, and in high school, I finalized my decision to become a doctor. I enjoy working with people, and looking back, I made the right decision,” said Dr. Mest.
A pulmonologist, Dr. Mest is the medical director of Respiratory Care and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County. He has served as president of the medical staff and as a member of numerous committees at the Willingboro hospital.
A native of Northeast Philadelphia, Dr. Mest earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a Benjamin Franklin Scholar, a distinctive honor given to students who are committed to the transformative power of ideas. Dr. Mest earned his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University – Hershey Medical Center, graduating with honors. He performed an internship and residency in medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital and a fellowship in pulmonary disease at Temple University Hospital.
Dr. Mest began practicing in Willingboro in 1989 with Brachfeld Medical Associates. He joined Lourdes Medical Associates three years ago. He is a Fellow of the College of Chest Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
“Here at Lourdes Burlington, we feel we know our community really well,” said Dr. Mest. “It’s a wonderful community with hard-working people. They are appreciative of the care we give them and have always welcomed our physicians and staff. We make sure they know that we are always here for them.”
Being there for his patients is one aspect of Dr. Mest’s patient-centered care philosophy. “Every patient deserves respect. As a patient, I want to be respected by my doctor, so I provide care with that same philosophy.”
Dr. Mest says he learned this philosophy of practice early on. “All through medical school and training, I was reminded of the virtue of respect. It’s very easy for patients to get lost in the shuffle. And in today’s world, it’s even more complicated with confusing messages from multiple sources. It’s a lot for patients to sort through. Our job is to care for people the best way we can and to provide them with factual information.”
A physician for 30 years, Dr. Mest thanks his mentors Drs. Clifford Zwillich, Michael Casey and Eugene Lugano for helping him decide to become a pulmonologist.
“I’m blessed to be afforded the opportunity to continue to practice medicine the way I think it should be practiced. That means spending time with my patients and taking the time to do what a physician needs to do to properly care for a patient. I am grateful to be supported by Lourdes in doing that and knowing my fellow physicians and I are here to do all we can to guide patients toward better health and healing.”
Dr. Mest resides in Mount Laurel.