Pediatric Cardiologist’s Dream Took Shape at Kent State

Dr. Tim Feltes, ’77, always wanted to be a doctor, ever since he was a child. His whole academic career revolved around that dream, but it almost didn’t happen once he got to college.

“I started out at a different school my freshman year, but I didn’t receive the support I needed from my advisors and teachers,” says Tim. “One professor actually told me that the sooner I realized that I wasn’t going to get into medical school, the sooner I could get on with my life. That’s when I transferred to Kent State.”

Here, Tim found a completely different atmosphere. His advisor, Dr. Orr, was very accommodating and supportive and gave him great advice for prepping for medical school.

“My professors were completely invested in my success, so I thrived. Being at Kent State was a pivot point in my life,” he says.

Today, Tim Feltes, M.D., FACC is a pediatric cardiologist, cardiac intensivist and co-director of the Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He calls it an “exceedingly rewarding career.”

“There’s no feeling like working in partnership with parents and patients to help them through the challenges of their heart disease,” he says. “I get Christmas cards from patients who I took care of who now have children of their own and lead very productive lives.”

To express his appreciation for the university’s role in his career path and success, Dr. Feltes has made several gifts to the biological sciences program, including a substantial planned gift.

“When you’re given an opportunity like I was given,” he says, “with the support I received, I think it’s important to pay that back. Someone took the time to help me through my education and it’s only fair for me to do the same. Whether that’s through scholarships or in support of new facilities, that’s an obligation.”

Dr. Feltes has been chair of a group of cardiologists at Ohio State for 20 years, and has trained many others to become pediatric cardiologists, growing the program into what it is today.

“It’s very rewarding to take care of patients, of course, but also helping future generations of patients,” he says. “We’ve done a lot of research, and several papers have led to changes in the standard practice of children with congenital heart disease. I’m very happy about that as well. That all started back in Kent, Ohio.”

If you’d like to learn how to support a student at Kent State with a provision in your will, contact us at 330-672-1000, or email

POSTED: Friday, March 27, 2020 - 10:31am
UPDATED: Friday, May 29, 2020 - 10:23am
Deb McGuinness, '78