Dr. Philip Reichert (Cornell University Medical College Class of 1923) and his wife Helen "Happy" Faith Keane Reichert (Cornell University Class of 1925) were long-time benefactors of Weill Cornell Medical College and the Medical Center Archives.
An exhibit featuring items from the Philip Reichert papers is now on display in Weill Cornell Medical College main lobby at 1300 York Avenue. Documents, ephemera, and photographs highlight Dr. Reichert's interest in medical devices, the Reicherts' ties to Cornell, and his role in the American College of Cardiology. The exhibit marks the occasion of the 110th anniversary of Mrs. Reichert's birth on November 11, 1901.
Dr. Reichert had a keen interest in the history of medicine, and was fascinated with historic medical devices. He began collecting diagnostic instruments soon after his graduation from medical school in 1923, and spent several decades building his collection and restoring the devices to their original working condition. His collection of diagnostic devices had been on display in the Wellcome Exhibition Galleries (1942-1945) and the Smithsonian Institution (1956-1964) prior to Dr. Reichert's donation of the collection to the Weill Cornell Medical College in 1972. The Philip Reichert Collection of Historic Diagnostic Instruments is on permanent display in the Uris Faculty Room.
In 1949, Dr. Reichert was a founding member of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), which had its roots in the New York Cardiological Society. Some of the early meetings of the ACC took place in the Reicherts' Manhattan apartment and Happy took notes. Philip Reichert served as executive director of the ACC from 1952-1962. Among the Reichert papers in the Medical Center Archives are comprehensive records of the ACC, including minutes and early documents from the organization's beginning.
Helen "Happy" Faith Keane Reichert had a long and fascinating career. She founded the Round Table of Fashion Executives in 1949, as a means to give women a greater voice within the fashion industry. In 1951, she hosted a television talk show, "FYI: The Helen Faith Keane Show," that won the McCall's Magazine Golden Microphone Award for outstanding broadcasting service to women. She was a professor of costume history at New York University from 1947 to 1977.
Philip and Happy Reichert both had strong ties to Cornell University and to the Medical College. Philip graduated from the Cornell University Medical College in 1923 and achieved the top score on the National Medical Board examination that year. Happy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University in 1925 and, until her recent passing in September, was the oldest living Cornell alumna.
The Reicherts were generous donors to the Medical Center Archives and to the Weill Cornell Medical College.