Couple's gift initiates the Reggie Low Endowment in Cardiology

Mr. and Mrs. Evangelisti with Dr. Low © UC Regents
Fred and Molly Evangelisti, left, provided initial funding for an endowment in the name of Molly's cardiologist, Reggie Low, to support teaching and research.

Posted Feb. 1, 2012

When Molly Evangelisti was only 16, her father died of a heart attack at 56 years of age. An uncle also died of a heart attack in his early 60s. Long aware of her family’s heart-disease history, she consulted with her UC Davis internist, Denyse Nishio, about potential blood-pressure problems. Nishio referred her to Reginald Low, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, who helped manage her high blood pressure with medication.

Several years later, while shopping, Evangelisti experienced an episode of atrial fibrillation unrelated to her high blood pressure. Again, Low helped her.

She and her husband, Fred, agree that she likely would have fallen victim to her family’s medical history without Low’s intervention.

“Dr. Low always gets to the bottom of whatever your issue is,” Molly Evangelisti says, “and you always learn something new from him.”

 2011 Vice Chancellor's Annual Report cover © UC Regents
“Couple's gift initiates the Reggie Low Endowment in Cardiology" first appeared in the 2011 Vice Chancellor’s Annual Report. Read more (PDF) about the health system’s growing recognition as a national force in transforming health care and improving health for all.

She has become more proactive with her own health care.

“Before this, she was too afraid to hike, to ski, to go camping,” Fred Evangelisti says. “Her heart rate would increase, and she’d panic. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program helped restore her confidence in her own physical abilities.”

Both native Sacramentans, the Evangelistis are passionate about supporting health care and education, particularly within their own community.

“It benefits not just people we know, but people of all walks of life,” Fred Evangelisti adds.

The couple recently helped establish the Reggie Low Endowment in Cardiology to support teaching and research activities within the Division of Cardiology.

“The training and education of tomorrow’s leading physicians — what better legacy for Dr. Low,” Molly Evangelisti says. “It means a lot to us to be able to kick off the endowment, and we hope that others will follow.”