Medicine needs victors: $1B UMHS fundraising effort supports medical research, patient care & education Donations will help create the future of health care

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A painter recovering from burns over 80 percent of his body. A young girl getting cancer treatment tailored to her DNA. A team of scientists working to cure heart rhythm disorders. A doctor probing the origins of Alzheimer's disease. A medical student on the cusp of a promising career.

The faces – and stories – of these extraordinary people show why the University of Michigan Health System has earned its national reputation for excellent patient care, research and education.

Now, they're illustrating how donations of all sizes can help transform health care and biomedical science well into the future. Those gifts can come from patients and their families, from U-M faculty, staff and alumni, and from families, philanthropists and businesses that believe in the Health System's ability to create the future of medicine through discovery.

A new web site, www.medicineneedsvictors.org, features the stories of some of these remarkable patients, professionals and students – and information on giving.

More than 46,000 donors have already contributed to the Health System's Victors for Michigan campaign to support medical research, patient care and medical education.  With its $1 billion goal, it is the Health System's most ambitious fundraising effort ever, and is a significant portion of the $4 billion university-wide Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign that kicked off last November.

The fundraising effort will have a profound impact on the care of seriously ill or injured children and adults, on medical discoveries made by scientific teams, on the careers of current and future doctors and medical scientists, and on UMHS facilities where care, discovery and learning happen.

According to Richard Rogel, the U-M alumnus and major donor who chairs the UMHS campaign, "Everyone here has a passion, a goal they want to achieve, a way to make the world a better place. It's tremendous. We have top researchers, great administrators, fabulous students – all dedicated to saving lives. This is 'Collaboration University.' I've seen it in action, and everybody can be a part of it. This campaign is just the beginning of what we can accomplish together."

UMHS campaign co-chair and major U-M donor A. Alfred Taubman says, "By investing in research and supporting the people who can push the boundaries of medicine, we will save lives. And by expanding U-M's capabilities as one of the nation's top translational research institutions, we will help drive a resurgence in the Michigan economy, establishing the region as a global epicenter for the biomedical sector."  

The ability of U-M Medical School scientists to move research from the laboratory to patient care formed a key focus of a Discovery Ball held last weekend to support research, which raised more than $1.7 million.

"Philanthropic gifts that provide sustained funding for innovative ideas, people and programs make all the difference to our future," says Ora Pescovitz, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs. "This effort is vitally important in a number of ways," she adds. "We are hopeful of gaining support from new and established donors – with gifts ranging from a few dollars to millions. The opportunities to advance health care have never been greater and few institutions are as well-positioned as we are to take the lead. We want donors to know they can have a real impact on making healthcare better for themselves, their families, friends and communities by supporting the Victors for Michigan campaign."

To learn more about the University of Michigan Health System fundraising effort and view videos and stories, visit www.medicineneedsvictors.org

UMHS campaign goals:

  • $515 million for medical discovery: Donors can fuel the most promising ideas and help drive discoveries from laboratory bench to patient bedside more quickly.
  • $200 million for patient care: Gifts here will help fund advanced medical treatments and patient support, including emotional needs.
  • $85 million to develop new leaders: Through scholarship funds and innovative programs for medical students and burgeoning scientists, donors can support the next generation. 
  • $100 million to attract and retain the best minds: Endowed funds can provide support for faculty physicians and scientists to explore, create and collaborate in new ways.
  • $100 million for extraordinary environments: Giving makes possible innovative new facilities, and upgrades to existing facilities, where patients can heal, students can learn and scientific teams can discover.

Campaign leadership gifts to UMHS include:

  • $6.1 million for thyroid cancer research, from Jim Wigginton
  • $7.5 million from Robert & Ann Aikens for a Cardiovascular Center hybrid operating room
  • $7.9 million from the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation for collaborative cardiovascular medical engineering research with Technion University in Israel, and blood cancer research
  • $20 million from the Ted & Jane Von Voigtlander Foundation to name the Women's Hospital, and other areas
  • $30 million for Medical School scholarships from Richard and Susan Rogel
  • $25 million from the Samuel and Jean Frankel Foundation to name the Cardiovascular Center
  • $56 million from A. Alfred Taubman, to establish the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System



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