Recent Gifts - April 2013
Both the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Alliance Charitable Foundation and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation are supporting a new children’s asthma program at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Together, the foundations awarded grants totaling $20,000 in April to UMass Memorial for a home-based asthma reduction program to begin in the city’s Bell Hill neighborhood. In this program, a community health worker will visit selected families who have a child with moderate to severe asthma. The child may be missing school days due to this chronic illness. These children often end up in the emergency room with asthma attacks.
Similar programs in other urban areas across the country have helped families reduce their child’s asthma attacks with specialized cleaning products, with smoking reduction services for adult family members and with help to arrange home repairs to fight mold and allergens.
MMS grants support non-profit health organizations that offer community-based prevention, screening, early detection and health promotion. The foundation funds programs promoting healthy decision-making around behaviors and lifestyle choices and also, physician-led volunteer initiatives to provide free care to uninsured/underinsured patients.
Greater Worcester’s Fallon/OrNda Community Health Fund was established in 1996 with an endowment gift of $4 million from the sale of Saint Vincent Hospital by the Fallon Foundation, Inc. to OrNda Healthcorp. This fund is dedicated to advancing projects that increase access to healthcare or health promotion services for vulnerable populations.
Big Y Comes Through Again for Breast Cancer
Big Y Foods Inc. has awarded $15,000 to the Comprehensive Breast Center at UMass Memorial Medical Center. The Springfield-based company raised $194,000 for breast cancer related charities in 2012 through its Sixth Annual Partners of Hope Campaign.
The campaign promotes breast cancer screening, education and treatment through this highly successful campaign that raises funds at the company’s supermarkets.
The Big Y award will support a breast cancer surgery fellowship at UMass Memorial’s Breast Center. The one-year fellowship At UMass in Worcester attracts the top new breast surgeons who are committed to bringing the results of research to breast cancer patients.
Receiving the award for UMass Memorial this year was Breast Center Director Robert Quinlan, MD, along with Thomas P. McCullough, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the medical center. Quinlan accepted the check on Feb. 4 at the Holden Big Y, from store director Kristy Haley and Employee Service Representative Shelley Giguere.
In announcing the gift, Ms. D’Amour-Daley said, “Thank you for all you do for awareness, research and support of breast cancer. We know that both employees and our customers appreciate your efforts.”
The Comprehensive Breast Center at UMass Medicine offers professionals in surgery, oncology, diagnostic radiology, behavioral medicine, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, plastic surgery, nursing, social work and clinical psychology. Treatments for breast disorders include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, counseling, educational resources and support services.
Merck Foundation Backs UMass Medicince Research in Down Syndrome Genetics and Treatment
John Merck Foundation has awarded $1 million in a three-year grant to support the work of Jeanne B. Lawrence, PhD, of UMass Medical School.
Lawrence is a professor of cell and developmental biology and pediatrics. Her laboratory studies the genetics of Down Syndrome from a novel perspective. The goal is to identify a method of gene therapy that would silence the extra chromosome that people with Down Syndrome have, and potentially reduce their disabilities.
This is one of three $1 million, multi-year grants awarded in late 2012 to U.S. medical research centers by this foundation. The foundation announced the grants in February, 2013.
Lawrence’s work matched the goal of John Merck Foundation’s 2011 initiative to promote research on treatments for people with developmental disabilities, particularly Down and Fragile X syndromes. The foundation expects to eventually award ten, $1 million grants for this initiative.
Terence R. Flotte, MD, Dean of UMass Medical School praised Lawrence, describing her as “an internationally recognized leader in the study of chromosome regulation by non-coding RNA and nuclear and genome organization.”
Marsha Mailick, chair of the fund's scientific advisory board explained to Philanthropy Digest how the foundation is looking for results that can alleviate suffering in the near future.
"What's especially exciting about [the Translational Research] Program,” she said, “is that it supports research with potential game-changing impact that is within the realm of probability — not just possibility — and could be achieved within ten years."
John Merck Foundation began in 1970 when the late Serena S. Merck founded The John Merck Fund, named for her son. Merck was the widow of George W. Merck, founder of the pharmaceutical company. For the first sixteen years, The Fund worked exclusively to support research into children’s developmental disabilities. Beginning in 1986, it added programs in other fields that also were of concern to Mrs. Merck and her husband. Today, the fund has four program areas:Developmental Disabilities, Clean Energy, Environmental Health and Regional Food Systems.
Gerber Foundation supports UMass research on Down Syndrome and Thyroid Testing
The Gerber Foundation of Michigan has awarded a three-year grant of $291,420 to UMass Memorial Medical Center co-investigators Penny Feldman, MD and Mary Lee, MD, to study thyroid dysfunction in infants with Down syndrome.
This is the first Gerber Foundation grant to the medical center. The foundation was started in 1952 by Daniel Gerber, Sr., the founder and innovator of the Gerber Baby Food Company. In 1994, the foundation became independent of the company, which is now part of Sandoz, LTD. In its history, the foundation has donated some $70 million to research infant nutrition and to support the community of Central Michigan.
Gerber, who died in 1974, set the tone for the foundation to support clinical research that will enhance the quality of life of infants to age 3 children in nutrition, care, and development. Of particular interest to the foundation is research that offers a substantial promise of meaningful advances in prevention and treatment of diseases and those with broad applicability to the general population.
For the UMass team, the goal is to identify the benefits of increased screening for under-active thyroid function on children with Down Syndrome, who are at increased risk for this condition. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mild, but delayed treatment may affect the neurodevelopment of infants. The study will examine whether there is a benefit to monitoring Down Syndrome infants at intervals more frequent than currently recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, leading to more prompt treatment.
O'Brien Trust Funds UMass Breast Surgery Fellowship
The Sarah Elizabeth O’Brien Trust has awarded $50,000 to the University of Massachusetts Medical School for a 2013-2014 Breast Surgery Fellowship.
The Breast Surgery Fellowship program began in 2008 and attracts outstanding post-doctoral physicians across the country, said UMMS Professor of Surgery Robert M. Quinlan, MD. Quinlan is also director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
Since its formation in 1981, the O’Brien Trust has supported medical treatment and research in Massachusetts in the areas of cancer and blindness. The trust previously donated $21,000 to UMass Memorial’s cancer treatment program.
Bank of America’s Philanthropic Solutions group works for more than 22,000 nonprofit organizations, individuals, and families, across the nation, advising them on investment and also in mission-oriented grant-making.
Through its foundation and trusts under management, Bank of America has donated $780,000 to UMass Memorial Medical Center programs, from the Care Mobile to the Cancer Centers of Excellence to the Emergency Department’s Fast Track Unit.
Borchard Foundation supports UMass Medicine Research in Law and Aging
The Borchard Foundation, Center on Law and Aging, has awarded a grant to two researchers with the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine.
Rachel Gershon, J.D., M.P.H and Stephanie Anthony, J.D., M.P.H., received the grant for their research titled “Thinking Long-Term: An Evaluation of Financing Options for Long-Term Services and Supports.”
Gershon and Anthony are research policy analysts with the medical school’s Center for Health Law and Economics in Charleston.
The mission of The Borchard Foundation Center on Law & Aging is, through education, research and service, to help improve the quality of life for elderly people, including those who are poor or otherwise isolated by lack of education, language, culture, disability or other barriers. The center began in 1998 as an outgrowth of the California-based Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation. Since 2000, the foundation’s center has awarded up to four grants each year, up to $20,000 each, to further scholarship about new or improved public policies, laws and/or programs affecting the elderly.
Angel Fund's Walk of Hope Does It Again
Some 1,000 people working for a cure for a fatal disease, stepped off the Wakefield Common on Sept. 8 for The Angel Fund’s 11th Annual Walk of Hope for ALS. Forty-seven teams began their 3.5 mile hike after hearing the words of UMass Medical Chairman of Neurology Robert H. Brown Jr., MD, D.Phil, and following the release of doves signifying hope.
Angel Fund is a non-profit group, begun in 1997 by Ginny Delvecchio, herself an ALS patient who died in 1998. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is frequently called Lou Gehrig’s disease, and is a fatal neurological condition that causes all muscles to eventually fail. There is no known cure. In memory of these people who have died of ALS and in honor of their courage, the Angel Fund has raised more than $1 million for the Cecil B. Day Laboratory for Neuromuscular Research at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, and the work of Dr. Brown.
Events - July 2012
New Ronald McDonald Care Mobile Rolls Out For Donors and Kids
Donors have breathed new life into the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile at UMass Memorial Medical Center.
In addition to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern New England, five foundations contributed substantially toward the purchase of the new vehicle. They are: Fred Harris Daniels Foundation, Inc.; Fallon OrNda Community Health Fund; Greater Worcester Community Foundation; Hoche-Scofield Foundation and the Citizen’s Bank Foundation.
“For the past 11 years, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has provided high-quality medical, dental and health education services for local, underserved children,” said Jim Garrett, President of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern New England.
The charity’s Executive Director Karen McEachern, praised RMHC’s retiring director Edie Stevenson for pursuing the dream of a mobile health unit that would bring health and dental care to the city’s poorest citizens. “It’s the tenacity of Edie’s will that brought the first care mobile, and this replacement as well,” Ms. McEachern said.
UMass Memorial Health Care President John O’Brien said the mobile unit, through its dedicated staff, has served more than 75,000 people in Worcester since the project began in 2000.
“Despite the fact that we have health care reform, and we think everybody has health care, they actually don’t,” O’Brien said. “Health care can be fairly foreboding, particularly for the immigrant community.”
UMass Memorial’s Ronald McDonald Care Mobile is a friendly face for citizens of Worcester who seek better health, he said.
Gifts - April 2012
Runners hit the road for ALS fund with John Hancock platform
Eight men and one woman raised more than $67,000 for the UMass ALS Championship Fund by running in the 116th Boston Marathon in April.
They each joined the official UMass ALS team, pledging to raise at least $5,000 each, a goal most have surpassed. It's all part of John Hancock's non-profit promotion opportunity, offered every year in the internationally renowned race that the financial services company has sponsored for 27 years. Non-profits are selected and permitted to enter runners in this highly competitive race. Each runner raises funds in person and online with the John Hancock-sponsored fundraising site, www.crowdrise.com.
The UMass ALS fund opened in 2011 and is aimed at financing UMass Medical School's newest research toward a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gherig's disease. Read more about these runners here. Read more about the UMass ALS/Championship Fund here.
Gifts - March 2012
Big Y Keeps up Supports For UMass Breast Center
Big Y Foods, Inc. has donated. $10,370 to the Comprehensive Breast Center at UMass Memorial Medical Center--the second such donation in two years. UMass physician, Kathryn Edmiston, MD, accepted the gift on April 2 from Employee Services Representative Jessica LaPorte at the Big Y Supermarket in Worcester.
Big Y reported that it raised $153,000 for breast cancer-related charities in Massachusetts and Connecticut, through its Fifth Annual Partners of Hope Campaign.
“Thank you for all you do for awareness, research and support of breast cancer,” said Big Y Vice President of Corporation Communications, Claire M. D’Amour-Daley. “We know that both our employees and our customers appreciate your efforts.”
The Comprehensive Breast Center at UMass Medicine offers an expert, multidisciplinary team to guide patients through diagnostic and treatment services. The Center’s integrated team includes professionals in surgery, oncology, diagnostic radiology, behavioral medicine, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, plastic surgery, nursing, social work and clinical psychology. Treatments for breast disorders include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, counseling, educational resources and support services. The Center provides the most sophisticated medical technology available, including the latest clinical trials and treatments.
Biogen Idec Backs UMass/ALS Champion Fund
Massachusetts-based Biogen Idec, the world’s oldest independent biotechnology firm, has donated $500,000 to the UMass ALS Champion Fund at UMass Medical School in Worcester. This is the single largest donation to the fund, which supports cutting edge research on the debilitating neurodegenerative disease – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The UMASS ALS fundraising effort is being led by former Massachusetts Governor Paul Cellucci, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2009. He receives his care at UMass from Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, chair and professor of neurology and one of the world’s leading ALS researchers.
Biogen CEO George Scangos, PhD, presented the gift at a Boston press conference, March 15, leading into an ALS fundraising gathering at the Seaport Boston Hotel.
“For those of us dedicated to the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, this is a pivotal moment,” Scangos said. “In the past several years, there have been tremendous advances in ALS research, which have helped us better understand the disease and seek new treatments. Massachusetts is fortunate to have in our midst a world-class neuroscience research and patient-care center led by a world-renowned physician and scientist—as well as a medical school with the vision and dedication to nurture it. We are proud to support the Champion Fund.”
“I am so moved by the generosity of Biogen Idec—a great Massachusetts corporation,” Governor Cellucci said. “The company’s generous gift will directly help Dr. Brown and his colleagues. Dr. Brown will not rest; he wants to find a cure. I am so proud to be helping him, raising funds, so that he can continue his ground breaking research that is giving hope—realistic hope—to people living with ALS.”
To become a champion in the fight against ALS, or for more information about the UMass ALS Champion Fund, visit www.UMassALS.com, or join the fight on Facebook (Facebook.com/UMassALS) and Twitter (@UMassALS).
To see photos of the event, please visit this site.
John Hancock Brings Boston Marathon to UMass/ALS Fund
Eight men and women will run in the Boston Marathon on April 16 to raise money for the UMass/ALS Championship Fund, thanks to their dedication and to the John Hancock Boston Marathon Non-Profit Program.
John Hancock, a 150-year-old financial services company, has for 27 years been the prime sponsor for the world’s oldest marathon. This will be the 116th Boston Marathon. As part of its commitment to the race and to the community at large, the company each year invites non-profits to participate with special invitational entries into the race. These race entries provide non-profits a unique opportunity to share their message and raise funds. This year, John Hancock invited the UMass/ALS Championship Fund to participate in the race.
Each member of the UMass/ALS team has worked to raise at least $5,000 for the fight against this degenerative neurological disease known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Some UMASS/ALS team members have so far raised up to $15,000.
John Hancock teamed with the non-profit Crowdrise to help the runners raise funds online. Up-to-date news of their fundraising progress can be found at this website.
The UMass/ALS Champion Fund is intended to help researchers pursue leads and breakthroughs right now that might otherwise take years to attract funding from traditional sources. The fund will support the laboratory of Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, chair and professor of neurology, a national leader in ALS research.
Former Gov. Paul Cellucci is a driving force behind the championship fund. He is currently being treated for ALS by Dr. Brown at UMass Memorial.
“I am honored that John Hancock has picked the UMass ALS Champion Fund to participate in the Boston Marathon nonprofit program,” Cellucci said. “It means so much to me and my family to see the groundswell of support for Dr. Brown’s research at UMass Medical School. Our champions are the people who are willing to step up and support Dr. Brown and his lab find a cure.”
Four of the eight runners have close ties to UMass Medical School: One is a Graduate School of Biomedical Science student; one works for Information Services; one is a registered nurse at UMass Memorial Medical Center; and another is a former employee who works frequently for the Medical School as a freelance photographer. Other team members have connections to former Gov. Cellucci.
As the prime race sponsor, John Hancock each year recruits the world's top distance runners and brings these elite athletes to Boston for the Marathon, where they stay in the John Hancock Elite Athlete Village. John Hancock also provides a substantial prize purse and performance bonuses to top finishers.