Volunteers in Medicine Clinic had the honor of celebrating the amazing accomplishments of Dr. Mehdi and Alexandra “Sandy” Razavi at the 2022 Sage Awards. Each year the Council on Aging of Martin County presents the Sage Awards to honor standout senior residents who live purposeful lives by offering their experience, professional skills and compassionate hearts to their communities, while displaying a positive image of aging to younger generations. The Razavis were recognized for the outstanding contributions they have made to our community after retiring from full-time careers and received the Sage Award for Health Science and Medicine.

Dr. Mehdi Razavi, a retired cardiologist, and his wife, Sandy Razavi, a retired nurse, are two dedicated medical professionals who donate their time, talent and treasures to Volunteers in Medicine Clinic. The Razavis are a dynamic duo and have been leaders in their communities and professions for over 50 years. After raising 5 children and long, distinguished careers, most people would be content to retire and relax. But their passion for helping others keeps them energized, so they work in a volunteer capacity doing what they love.

Sandy started volunteering at VIM Clinic in 2008 soon after they purchased a second home in Stuart. They were planning to spend a few months of the winter here to get away from the cold in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Sandy immediately connected with the staff, volunteers, and especially the patients. Her planned “few months” soon stretched into “most of the year.” Sandy’s experience and super organizational abilities are incredibly helpful to the Clinic’s small staff. Sandy volunteers two days a week in the mornings, which are the busiest times at the Clinic. Sandy greets the patients and does their intake, which includes checking vitals, updating health histories, and preparing the exam rooms for the doctors. She is always sweet and friendly, putting the patients at ease and making them feel welcome and comfortable. She assists the doctors when necessary and takes care of patient discharges where she sets up future appointments for the patients, enters orders for labs and diagnostic testing, and escorts the patients to the exit answering any of their remaining questions and giving them some encouraging words on the way out. Sandy also plays an invaluable role training new nursing volunteers. Sandy shares all the Clinic’s processes, shows them how to use the electronic records system, and mentors them in the Clinic’s patient-centric culture. She is responsible for training at least 30 nursing volunteers for VIM over the years. To date, Sandy has contributed 5700 volunteer hours to VIM Clinic.

Dr. Razavi had a thriving cardiology practice with Cleveland Clinic at age 65. But he had no intention of retiring and worked another 21 years for Cleveland Clinic before retiring in 2018 at age 86. Dr. Razavi shared Sandy’s enthusiasm for volunteering at the Clinic and even though he wasn’t there in person as often, he provided cardiac consultations and reviewed EKGs for Dr. Howard Voss, the Clinic’s previous Medical Director. Dr. Razavi is world-renowned in the cardiac field. He helped to found a Center for Global Patient Services in the 1970s when he and his colleagues began treating world leaders like King Khalid of Saudi Arabia, President Joao Baptista Figueiredo of Brazil, King Hussein of Jordan, and King Jigme Singye Wangchuck of Bhutan. Dr. Razavi wanted the center to not only be the premiere hospital for heads of state, but also serve anyone in need of cardiac care as well as being a place for teaching and sharing knowledge internationally.

While maintaining his busy practice, he actively participated in research and teaching. He was the first program director of the Cardiovascular Medicine Training Program at Cleveland Clinic. His curriculum vitae is long with many articles, papers, and book chapters to his credit on cardiology all published after he was 65. But what he loves the most is patient care. He says “I like to be known as a doc who listens to my patients. It’s such an honor to be able to help people who are going through a difficult experience and ease their suffering.” Indeed the VIM Clinic patients frequently say that they have never had a doctor spend so much time with them explaining how the heart functions, what is happening inside their bodies, and why they need to follow their doctor’s treatment plan for the best outcome. Medical and nursing students say they learn so much from Dr. Razavi and are fascinated when he shares the history of cardiac care and how new procedures were developed and perfected at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Razavi volunteers one day a week and has already contributed nearly 600 volunteer hours.

And the Razavis didn’t stop at volunteering. They have been major donors since they arrived in Stuart and have introduced many other major donors to the Clinic. Each year they sponsor the gala and invite other couples to the event. Several other major donors and thousands of dollars in gifts can be traced back to the Razavis and their influence.

The Razavis’ passion for helping others energizes everything they do. Listening, being caring and supportive, and making the world a better place; this is the Razavis in a nutshell. We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this wonderful event and continue to have the Razavis caring for our patients.