Newsmakers the Week of Feb. 14, 2013


Dr. Andrew I. Spitzer, who did his internship in general surgery and residency/
orthopedic surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as well as a postdoctoral research fellowship at McKay Laboratories for Orthopaedic Surgery Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been given a rare tribute: honorary membership in the Israel Orthopaedic Association. Now director of the Joint Replacement Program at the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center in Los Angeles, Spitzer is a frequent traveler to Israel, where he instructs surgeons there on the latest developments for hip and knee replacements while also donating his services to treat patients.

Ronald O. Perelman has given a $25 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees and is a trustee. The son of Raymond G. and the late Ruth Perelman, the billionaire philanthropist has donated to Penn before; a previous $20 billion donation led to the establishment of the Perelman Quadrangle at the school. This current gift is targeted for an eponymous building for the school’s economic and political science fields of study.

Marilyn Price Birnhak this month is starting her 50th year of association with Weight Watchers, whose Philadelphia branch she and husband J. Robert Birnhak opened in 1964. This followed on the heels of the Fern Rock native attending sessions in New York with her husband and with both successfully completing the program. Today, the philanthropists operate a franchise that serves 11 counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southwestern New Jersey.

Philadelphia native Steve Capus has left his position as president of NBC News. The Temple U. grad arrived at the network 20 years ago and served as president for the past 18 years.

Elliana Grace lives up to her name under pressure — extreme pressure: The 20-year-old
is the Human Cannonball, shot 100 feet from a cannon at G7 force, in the Ring­ling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey “Built to Amaze,” now playing at the Wells Fargo Center.

Dorothy Rose, 91, was feted at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cliffside Park, N.J., in ceremonies marking her retirement as their organist for 40 years. The former Philadelphia resident, who is Jewish, took up organ decades back, learning to play in Philadelphia.



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