Acting President and Chairman of the Board 1990; President from 1990 to 2000; Chancellor;
A former pharmacist, researcher and clinician in the field of urologic surgery, Leonard
H. Finkelstein, DO ’59, MSc ’63, FACOS, joined the PCOM faculty in 1970. In 1973,
he was named chairman of the Division of Urology and, in this capacity, advanced the
College’s urologic specialty and residency program.
In 1989, Dr. Finkelstein led a group of clinical faculty opposed to the sale of Barth
Pavilion. He became the College’s acting president and chairman of the board upon
the resignation of Dr. Tilley and the Honorable J. Sydney Hoffman [board chairman]
in 1990. The acting portion of his title was soon dropped, and he was appointed the
College’s sixth president and chief executive officer. Herbert Lotman, LLD (Hon.),
assumed the position of chairman of the board.
As president, Dr. Finkelstein would preside over a decade of transformative progress
at PCOM, ensuring the efficacy of the College’s mission and restoring stability to
Dr. Finkelstein was responsible for the purchase of Metropolitan Hospital’s Parkview
Division (1990), and the ultimate sale of both Parkview and Barth Pavilion to Graduate
Health System in 1993. A strike by District 1199C of the National Union of Hospital
and Health Care Employees, the loss of the College’s state subsidy, and the hemorrhaging
cost of reimbursement policies made many realize the hospital sales were the only
way to save the College. Through these transactions, Dr. Finkelstein orchestrated
a financial turnaround for the College. Within the fiscal year, the College’s financial
status moved from a $6 million deficit to a $4 million surplus.
Throughout his tenure, Dr. Finkelstein enhanced the College’s curriculum, expanded
the graduate medical education program, and oversaw an ambitious master facilities plan that resulted in a modern campus.
He instituted an administrative team, including Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA, dean, and Samuel H. Steinberg, executive vice president. Furthermore, he rebuilt
the College’s financial foundation through a $25 million capital campaign.
He was a staunch advocate for the osteopathic profession, its teaching and growth.
He served as president of the American Osteopathic Foundation Board of Directors and
the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association. He was a recipient of the Christian
R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Distinguished Osteopathic
Surgeon Award from the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and a Presidential
Citation from the American Osteopathic Association for his commitment to unity within
the osteopathic profession. He was awarded both the PCOM Alumni Association Certificate
of Honor and the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal.
In 2000, Dr. Finkelstein stepped down as president to serve as chancellor, a post
he held until his death in 2019. He retired from his academic posts in 2014 and was named professor emeritus in 2015.
“Well, I guess my strength would be that I am about as focused as anybody can be.
I have had a vision and a mission, and I’ve just stayed with it. And I think that
if I had not done anything [else], I’ve established myself as credible, and when I
say something, that is the way it is. And that whether people like me or don’t like
me, I hope that I’m looked at as being fair. I have tried to do what was in the best
interest of the College, the people that work for the College who are part of the
College, and those that have gone through the College. Because what they are and what
the College is, is what I am.”
- Dr. Finkelstein in a 1996 interview for PCOM’s Oral History Project