Philanthropy News from The Miriam

TMH Person of the Year
Susan H. Kaplan (left), chair of The Miriam Hospital foundation board of trustees, and Suzanne Gilstein, the 2018 Miriam Person of the Year.

The Miriam’s Annual Meeting Honors Suzanne Gilstein as 2018 Person of the Year

On October 18, more than 125 Miriam Hospital donors, friends, and supporters filled the Sopkin Auditorium when the hospital’s Foundation board of trustees hosted its 2018 annual meeting.

In celebrating a stellar year at The Miriam while thanking a donor community whose generosity knows no bounds, hospital president Arthur Sampson highlighted some of the hospital’s most recent accomplishments. Among them, he touched upon achieving a grade “A” from the Leapfrog Group for patient safety for a sixth time; the Total Joint Center being ranked “Best in Rhode Island” for total joint replacement by the national nonprofit CareChex; and the more than $9 million grant awarded by The National Institutes to study antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs.

“We have so much to be proud of at The Miriam – our research, our traditions, our physicians, our extraordinary nurses, and our amazing donors,” said Sampson. “I could not be more grateful to lead a hospital that not only does so much for the health and well-being of our community, but that is also loved by so many.”

Following Edward D. Feldstein delivering The Miriam Hospital Foundation Nominating Committee report, Susan H. Kaplan, chair of the foundation board, recognized Suzanne Gilstein at The Miriam’s Person of the Year.

For more than four decades, The Miriam and its patients have been central to Suzanne Gilstein’s life. She spent 38-years as a devoted Miriam nurse and was instrumental in the creation of the hospital’s Cancer Navigation Program. Suzanne’s gifts of time and talent include serving as past co-president of The Miriam Hospital Women’s Association, chair of The Miriam’s Quality Oversight Committee and as a current trustee of the hospital’s foundation board, among many others. Through her generous philanthropy and leadership volunteerism, Suzanne’s impact on health care in Rhode Island is significant and far reaching.

“From the moment you meet Suzanne, her passion for touching the lives of those who need her most always shines through – it is impossible to overstate her commitment to our community,” said Susan. “For all that Suzanne has done, and continues to do for The Miriam, it is both an honor and a privilege to recognize her as Person of the Year.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, guests gathered in The Marie J. Langlois Café for a buffet reception and warm conversation.

The Miriam Hospital Annual Meeting

The Gilstein Family at the Miriam Hospital annual meeting
From left: Adam Gilstein, Suzanne Gilstein, Jacob Jaffe, Alan Jaffe, Debbi Gilstein Jaffe, and Jordan Jaffe, DMD.

The Miriam Hospital Person of the Year
Susan H. Kaplan (left), chair of The Miriam Hospital foundation board of trustees, and Suzanne Gilstein, the 2018 Miriam Person of the Year.

The Miriam Hospital Annual Meeting
From left: Marie J. Langlois, Suzanne Gilstein, and Bonnie Ryvicker at The Miriam’s 2018 Annual Meeting.

The Miriam Hospital Annual Meeting
Donnie Shenk, assistant risk management coordinator, The Miriam Hospital, and Kathleen C. Hittner, MD, president emerita, The Miriam Hospital. At the annual meeting, Donnie was one of two non-clinical Miriam staff members to receive a Kathleen C. Hittner MD Endowed Fund Scholarship Award in support of continuing education.

The Miriam Hospital Annual Meeting
Tyler Nadeau, executive assistant, The Miriam Hospital, and Kathleen C. Hittner, MD, president emerita, The Miriam Hospital. Tyler is the recipient of a 2018 Kathleen C. Hittner MD Endowed Fund Scholarship Award.

Brown University Football Team Hosts “Bench Press for Cancer” to Benefit The Miriam

Just two days after returning from Connecticut and a hard fought game against Yale, members of the Brown University football team were back to work early on Monday, November 5, but they weren’t on the football field. Instead, players were gathered on the school’s main green as the team hosted its annual “Bench Press for Cancer” event to raise funds for the cancer survivorship program for young adults at The Miriam Hospital.

The players and their fellow students, along with staff from The Miriam, took turns flexing their muscles by bench pressing a weight of either 75 or 165 pounds for as many repetitions as possible. Prior to the event, participants secured a “per rep” pledge from family and friends, meaning the more repetitions they benched, the more money raised to help young adults battling cancer.

“Bench Press for Cancer” began at Brown in 2004, when the football team established the event to help former teammate and team captain Lawrence Rubida, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma while attending Brown. Lawrence passed away in 2005, but the team has continued the event to honor his memory. Donations to this year’s effort will continue to be collected on the Brown campus through the end of the semester, with an announcement of the amount raised expected in early 2019.

Benchpress4Cancer
Members of the Brown University football team show off the backs of “Bench Press for Cancer” t-shirts they designed for the 2018 event and are selling as part of their fundraising efforts.

Benchpress4Cancer
The first student to participate in this year’s “Bench Press for Cancer” event, Jade Carlson puts up one of her eight reps as Jason Medeiros, one of the Brown team’s linebackers, looks on.

Benchpress4Cancer
Always eager to lend his support, Dr. Fred J. Schiffman, medical director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute, gets ready to take his turn on the bench. Dr. Schiffman is spotted by Brown junior Caleb Clarke, a cornerback and one of the event’s lead organizers. 

Hospital’s Rich Tradition of Philanthropy Celebrated at Annual Miriam People Dinner

Coming together to celebrate the rich tradition of philanthropy and generous community support of The Miriam Hospital, hospital President Arthur J. Sampson and Foundation Chair, Susan H. Kaplan, welcomed 125 members of The Miriam People Society and their guests for this year’s Miriam People Dinner.

Held on September 20 at the Providence Marriott, the special evening was hosted by Suzanne and Almon Hall and recognized donors who have made annual gifts of $1,000 or more, or who have given $25,000 or more during their lifetimes. After Susan Kaplan thanked the hospital’s generous donor community for its unwavering support, Arthur Sampson shined a spotlight on The Miriam’s recent accomplishments. Among the accolades shared was the opening of a new Clinical Decision Unit in the emergency department to improve patient flow; being named a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News & World Report for the third year in a row; and Care Chex naming The Miriam the best in Rhode Island for total joint replacement.

The featured keynote speaker was Ilse Jenouri, MD, Medical Director of The Miriam’s emergency department and recipient of the hospital’s 2018 Charles C.J. Carpenter, MD, Outstanding Physician of the Year award. Dr. Jenouri’s presentation focused on the changing face of emergency care and how the addition of a Clinical Decision Unit plays a critical role in managing the growing patient volume. At the end of the evening’s formal program, guests enjoyed a dinner reception in the Marriott’s Grand Ballroom.

 “The past year has been a remarkable one for our hospital, thanks in large part to all of you in this room tonight and those across the entire Miriam family,” said Arthur Sampson. “I could not be more proud to lead a hospital that does so much for the health and well-being of our community, and never for a second do we forget what all of you have made possible – thank you for always being by our side.”

2018 Miriam People Dinner
From left: Arthur J. Sampson, president, The Miriam Hospital; Susan H. Kaplan, chair, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; Ilse Jenouri, MD, medical director, The Miriam Hospital Emergency Department; and Suzanne and Almon Hall, hosts of The Miriam People Dinner.

2018 Miriam People Dinner
From left: Robin and Marcus Ansell, and Steve Issa.


Sandra and Richard Bornstein.

2018 Miriam People Dinner
From left: Tom Byrne, Edye De Marco, and Jane Stanford.


From left: Alexandra Caldwell and Patricia Winderman.


From left: Marc Davis, Sanford Schatz, MD and Anita Schatz, and Helen Davis.


From left: Grace Dugan and Gale Aronson.


From left: Sandra Elias, Esq.; Gary Bubly, MD; and Fred Schiffman, MD.

2018 Miriam People Dinner
From left: Susan Kaplan, Helen and Doug Anthony, and Sheri Sweitzer.


From left: Jane S. Nelson, Gale Aronson, and Gloria Winston.


From left: Joanne and Sheldon Summer.

(Photos by Al Weems Photographer)

The Miriam Hospital Gala, Experience the Northern Lights, Raises $783,195

More than 550 guests filled the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence on Saturday, April 21, when The Miriam Hospital hosted its 2018 gala and auction, Experience the Northern Lights. Representing the hospital’s largest and most critical annual fundraiser, the event inspired by the grandeur of the Aurora Borealis raised $783,195.

The funds will benefit The Miriam Fund for a New Generation in support of the hospital’s greatest and most pressing needs, along with helping to advance its palliative care program, part of The Miriam’s renowned oncology services. Of the total raised, the event’s auction and fund-a-need generated $403,450 to support the addition of another nurse practitioner to the palliative care team at The Leonard and Adele R. Decof Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at The Miriam Hospital, part of the Lifespan Cancer Institute.

Co-chaired by Robin and Marcus Ansell, the evening of illuminated sensations began with a special cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception, followed by remarks from hospital leadership. Guests were then introduced to Dawn Shippey, a Miriam patient who shared her journey with lung cancer and the difference palliative care made – emotionally, mentally, and physically – on her road to survivorship.

“The Miriam is a place of ‘yes,’ where scientists search for answers to medicine’s most vexing questions and where second-to-none caregivers treat you as if you were family,” said Marcus Ansell. “But above all, The Miriam is a special place of healing, and we are proud to have served as co-chairs of this year’s event in support of a hospital that means so much to our community,” added Robin Ansell.

Prior to dinner, celebrity auctioneer Paul Zekos of The Zekos Group presented the event’s live auction and fund-a-need. As he prepared for the fund-a-need, longtime Miriam philanthropist Suzanne Gilstein announced a challenge to match all donations at the $2500, $1,000 and $500 levels, up to a total of $100,000. Inspired by Suzanne’s generosity, guests met the challenge, raising their bid numbers high and often.

“I could not be more thankful to our co-chairs, event committee, donors and sponsors for pulling out all of the stops and making tonight an overwhelming success,” said Arthur J. Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital. “The generosity exhibited tonight by Suzanne Gilstein and all of our supporters will make a dramatic and lasting difference in the delivery of our cancer programs to our patients and their families.”

After the evening program concluded, guests danced to the sounds of The Sweetbeats Band.

The Miriam Hospital extends its thanks and appreciation to Experience the Northern Lights presenting sponsors Amica Mutual Insurance Co. and University Orthopedics; leadership donor Amica Companies Foundation; platinum sponsors Amaral Revite General Contractors and Med Tech Ambulance Service, and the many others whose generosity made the event possible.

The Miriam Hospital Annual Foundation Meeting
From left: Arthur J. Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital; Susan H. Kaplan, chair, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; and Robin and Marcus Ansell, chairs of The Miriam Hospital’s 2018 gala and auction.


Dawn Shippey (left) and Angela Taber, MD, medical oncologist and palliative care specialist (right), at Experience the Northern Lights. During the event, Dawn, a patient of Dr. Taber’s, shared her journey with lung cancer and the difference palliative care made on her road to survivorship.


Longtime Miriam Hospital philanthropist Suzanne Gilstein (left) and Howard P. Safran, MD, chief of hematology/oncology at the Lifespan Cancer Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals (right). Prior to the event’s fund-a-need, Suzanne announced a challenge to match all donations at the $2,500, $1,000 and $500 levels, up to a total of $100,000.


Stuart and Samara Feldman at The Miriam Hospital’s 2018 gala and auction. Deeply committed to The Miriam, Stuart is a member of The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.


From left: Jackie Ignall, Samara Feldman, Elizabeth Greenberg, and Mora Babineau


From left: Nat Harris, Jennifer Quigley-Harris, and Kate Locouture. The 2016 Ocean State BBQ Festival state champion pit-master, Nat donated an authentic steelyard barbecue with live entertainment for 50 to the event’s auction in conjunction with Dan Levinson.


Annette and Jason Grant at The Miriam Hospital’s 2018 gala and auction


Donald and Sheri Sweitzer at the WaterFire Arts Center on April 21. Sheri is a Miriam Hospital Governor.

The Miriam’s Annual Meeting Celebrates Philanthropy, Honors Edward D. Feldstein as 2017 Person of the Year

More than 125 Miriam Hospital donors, friends and supporters filled the Sopkin Auditorium on October 26 when the hospital’s Foundation Board of Trustees hosted its 2017 Annual Meeting.

In addition to celebrating The Miriam’s accomplishments and the donor community that helps to make them possible, hospital president Arthur Sampson touched on several of The Miriam’s accolades of the past year. Along with showcasing the hospital’s rapidly evolving cancer program, he shared that the Total Joint Center earned its second Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement.

“Never for a moment do we forget that we would not be the hospital we are today without the unwavering support of our generous donors,” said Sampson. “It is both an honor and a privilege to lead a hospital that is held in as high a regard as The Miriam, and to do so alongside such a caring community.”

Following Arthur’s remarks, Marie J. Langlois, outgoing Foundation Board chair, highlighted a year defined by significant philanthropic support. In her final duty as chair, Marie recognized Edward D. Feldstein as The Miriam’s Person of the Year. His various volunteer leadership roles within The Miriam span nearly three decades. Ed was also presented with proclamations from Governor Gina M. Raimondo, and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza.

“Ed is not only a lifelong friend; he is a consummate leader who epitomizes integrity, strength and generosity, and has been integral to helping The Miriam reach new heights,” said Marie. “But more importantly, he is a tireless champion of those in need of quality health care, and an unparalleled fund-raiser in tandem with his wife Barbara and their family.”

Marie then passed the baton of leadership to Susan Kaplan, who was installed as the Foundation Board’s newest chair by the hospital’s Nominating Committee.

At the conclusion of the meeting, guests gathered in The Marie J. Langlois Café, where they enjoyed a buffet reception and warm conversation.

The Miriam Hospital Annual Foundation Meeting
Marie J. Langlois, outgoing Foundation Board chair, and 2017 Person of the Year, Edward D. Feldstein

The Miriam Hospital Annual Meeting
Pamela Feldstein with her parents Ed and Barbara Feldstein

The Miriam Hospital Annual Meeting
Jane S. Nelson and Brock Manville


Susan Kaplan and Marie J. Langlois

Rhode Island College Students Raise Funds to Support The Miriam’s Genitourinary Cancer Research

On Tuesday, January 30, The Miriam Hospital received a special visit when Dr. Frank D. Sánchez, President of Rhode Island College, and a group of students came by to present a donation of $500.

The gift, which was raised by Rhode Island College student-athletes as part of a community service project, was presented to Miriam oncologist, Anthony Mega, MD, in support of his genitourinary cancer research.

RIC Athletics Check Presentation
On Tuesday, January 30, The Miriam Hospital received a special visit when Dr. Frank D. Sánchez, President of Rhode Island College, and a group of students came by to present a donation of $500. The gift, which was raised by Rhode Island College student-athletes as part of a community service project, was presented to Miriam oncologist, Anthony Mega, MD, in support of his genitourinary cancer research.

Raise the Bar, Raise the Hope: Brown Football’s Bench Press for Cancer Benefits The Miriam


With offensive lineman Toby Okwara providing a spot, Anya Nayak took her turn, putting up an impressive 14 repetitions at 75 pounds.

As Brown University students made their way to classes on Monday, October 16, they saw a sea of pink t-shirts on the school’s main green as members of the football team hosted their annual “Bench Press for Cancer” event. By late morning, the team had already raised more than $17,000 for the Cancer Survivorship Program for Young Adults at The Miriam Hospital, with additional donations and t-shirt sales still going strong throughout the day.

With chants of encouragement of “Get one more” and “Raise the bar, raise the hope,” players were joined by their fellow students, staff from The Miriam, and members of the community as they flexed their muscles by benching a weight of either 75 or 165 pounds for as many repetitions as possible. Prior to the event, participants secured a “per rep” pledge from friends and family, so the more repetitions they benched, the more money raised to help young adults fighting cancer.

“Bench Press for Cancer” made its first appearance at Brown in 2004, when the football team created the event to help former teammate and team captain Lawrence Rubida, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma while at Brown. Lawrence passed away in 2005, but the Brown football team has continued the event annually in his memory. Since the event’s inception, more than $130,000 has been raised for The Miriam Hospital.


Brendan Lynch, an offensive lineman from Milton, MA, was the day’s first participant, putting up more than 20 reps at a weight of 165 pounds.


Prior to the start of 11:00 a.m. classes, Brown students flocked to “Bench Press for Cancer” to purchase t-shirts and show their support for this year’s event.


Members of the Brown University football team pose with Dr. Fred Schiffman, medical director, Lifespan Cancer Institute, during this year’s “Bench Press for Cancer” fundraiser.


Brett Estes, one of the primary organizers of “Bench Press for Cancer,” spots Dr. Fred Schiffman as he flexes his muscles in support of this year’s fundraiser.

Annual Miriam People Dinner Celebrates Philanthropy, Hospital’s Rich Tradition

The Miriam People Dinner
Susan and David Bazar, chairs of the 2017 Miriam People Dinner; Arthur J. Sampson, President of The Miriam Hospital and his wife, Lynda Sampson; John Loerke; and Marie J. Langlois, Chair, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.

In celebration of the generous philanthropy that has been pivotal in defining the rich tradition of The Miriam Hospital, hospital President Arthur Sampson and Foundation Chair, Marie J. Langlois, welcomed 135 members of The Miriam People Society and their guests for this year’s Miriam People Dinner.

Held on September 14 at the Providence Marriott, the event was co-chaired by longtime hospital friends and dedicated supporters, Susan and David Bazar. Following Foundation Chair Marie J. Langlois thanking the generous donor community that makes much of the hospital’s work possible, hospital President Arthur Sampson reflected on The Miriam’s accomplishments of the past year. Among the successes shared was Dr. Howard Safran’s appointment to Chief of Hematology and Oncology for the Lifespan Cancer Institute, the Joint Commission awarding the Total Joint Center its second Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement, and The Miriam’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report as the top hospital in Rhode Island for 2017—its fifth time receiving the prestigious distinction.

The event also featured keynote speaker Dr. James McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline for the State of Rhode Island. His presentation, “The Changing Face of the Opioid Crisis in Rhode Island—the Finality of Fentanyl,” provided an overview of the changes the medical community has seen in the potency of prescriptions and its relevancy to the opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions in our state and in our country. At the conclusion of the night’s formal program, guests enjoyed a special dinner reception in the Marriott’s Grand Ballroom.

“Our People Dinner is one of my favorite events of the year because it provides an incredible opportunity to celebrate the unwavering support of our donors while thanking them for all they have helped to make possible,” said Arthur Sampson. “There is no question that The Miriam would not be the hospital it is today without the power of philanthropy—and that’s something we will never lose sight of.”

The Miriam People Dinner
Donald and Jane Stanford; and Janice and Robert Mecca.

The Miriam People Dinner
Ed Feldstein, Trustee, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; Patricia Issa and Steve Issa, Treasurer, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Miriam People Dinner
Joseph Ducharme, MD and Maria Ducharme, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, The Miriam Hospital; Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr., Chair of the Lifespan Board of Directors and Chair of The Miriam Hospital Board of Trustees; and Susan Kaplan, Vice Chair of The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Miriam People Dinner
Sheri Sweitzer, Governor of The Miriam Hospital Foundation; Elain Fain, MD; Grace Dugan, Governor of The Miriam Hospital Foundation; and Jane Stanford.