Philanthropy News from The Miriam

The Miriam Hospital Annual Foundation Meeting
Left to right: 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

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.