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Posted on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 1:33 p.m.

Mark Pescovitz, husband of U-M Health System CEO Ora Pescovitz, dies in car crash

By Cindy Heflin

A crash on I-94 in Jackson County at the height of Sunday's winter storm killed Dr. Mark Pescovitz, the husband of University of Michigan Health System CEO Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Mark Pescovitz was an organ transplant surgeon, a professor of surgery and of microbiology and immunology and vice chairman for research in the Department of Surgery at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, the newspaper said.


Ora and Mark Pescovitz

Courtesy photo

The Jackson Citizen Patriot reported the crash occurred on westbound I-94 west of Race Road in Jackson County. The article said Pescovitz's car was westbound when it started to slide. A semi struck the car, and Pescovitz was thrown from the car, the Citizen Patriot said.

An Indiana University spokesman told the Star that Pescovitz was on his way back to Indianapolis after visiting Ora Pescovitz in Ann Arbor.

Ora Pescovitz was the president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis and head of research at the IU Med before she came to U-M.

On her page at the University of Michigan Health System website she posted this message: "This unexpected tragedy reminds us all of the fragility of life, ... . My children and I will treasure Mark’s memory, and take solace from knowing how many lives he saved and touched throughout his career and life. He was a wonderful father, husband and friend, as well as an astute and creative artist, researcher and surgeon. He will be greatly missed."

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman released the following statement: "On behalf of the University of Michigan community, I want to express my deep sadness and shock over the tragic death of Dr. Mark Pescovitz, husband of Dr. Ora Pescovitz, our executive vice president for medical affairs. Mark was a gifted transplant surgeon and administrator at Indiana University's School of Medicine. He was a talented artist, an intensely engaged member of his community and, most meaningfully, a dedicated father and husband, and a dear friend to many of us. Those of us fortunate enough to know Mark saw firsthand his commitment to his family, to their faith, and to serving others. We know that their faith will support them in the difficult days ahead, and we offer our deepest sympathies to Ora and her family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers." Coleman said details about how the university community could express its condolences to the Pescovitz family will be posted on the website of the executive vice president for medical affairs.



Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 4:50 p.m.

I meet DR.P in 2001 when my mother was told she had a kidney disease and she was set up for kidney transplate and thats when we meet him he was going to be the surgeon to perform IT but we told she would not make surgery and that he become her surgeon and for evry year for 5 years he did surgerys on my mother and he saved my mother and we was blessed with my mother for 5 years with DR,P help he gave us time with my mother and was so blessed to have him as my mothers doctor and surgeon and we think him so much the time he gave us with are mother he was a wonderfull doctor he was always honost and told us the truth always even when it was bad!! we will always remember the love he gave us and my mother...R.I.P.. GOD BE WITH HIS WIFE AND FAMILY


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 4:43 p.m.

A hundred years ago, Dr. Pescovitz would probably have taken a train. He would have left from what's now the Gandy Dancer, probably would have been in the first-class coach, and might have had to change trains once. The trip probably would have taken about the same amount of time, but he could have read the paper or some journals along the way, comfortable and safe. If he were traveling between cities in Europe or Japan today, he probably would have done the same. This is just another terrible and pointless tragedy due in part to our utter reliance on automobiles. Cars and trucks are really useful, but it's high time we rebuild the alternatives we used to have that, for intercity trips like his, were fast, comfortable, and safe.


Tue, Dec 14, 2010 : 9:28 a.m.

My sympathies to the Peskovitz family for this unexpected and tragic loss.


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 6:29 p.m.

Very sad! I saw this accident yesterday on my way home from Kalamazoo. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 4:27 p.m.

I'm so sorry to hear of the great loss of this wonderful man. I hope the love of their large community will sustain the Pescovitz family.


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 3:31 p.m.

A shocking reminder of life's fragility, indeed. I am saddened by the family's loss and wish them the best under the circumstances.


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 3:02 p.m.

This is such a tragic and shocking loss. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Ora and his family, this is too sad a loss for words.


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 2:48 p.m.

I work at UMHS. This is so sad to hear. Tragic, very tragic. Our prayers are with you Ora & family.

Tom Joad

Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 2:41 p.m.

Ice is particularly treacherous because your loss of control leaves you ultimately vulnerable. Stay off the roads when ice is reported.

Phil Dokas

Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

Mark Pescowitz was also the brother of David Pescowitz, a blogger at Boing Boing who wrote a touching remembrance of his brother today:


Mon, Dec 13, 2010 : 2:09 p.m.