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Philanthropy News from The Miriam
The Miriam Hospital Honors Alan H. Litwin as Person of the Year at 2019 Annual Meeting
Not even a severe downpour could dampen the celebratory feel that filled The Miriam’s Sopkin Auditorium when the hospital’s Foundation Board of Trustees hosted its 2019 Annual Meeting on September 26.
During their remarks, hospital president Arthur Sampson and foundation board chair Susan H. Kaplan both thanked donors for their incredibly generous support and shared highlights of the past year. Among them were two prestigious accolades from U.S. News and World Report, including a first-ever national ranking for urology services, and the Gold Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses – the highest designation of excellence conferred by a national nursing organization.
“The rest of the country now understands what we have long known, and that is how The Miriam is a world-class place for care, especially for our reputation in treating cardiac, stroke, cancer, bariatric, and urologic patients,” said Sampson. “And that is due in large part thanks to the commitment of all of you in this room tonight and the compassionate dedication of our caregivers.”
Following Dr. Kathleen C. Hittner, President Emerita of The Miriam, who presented her annual Kathleen C. Hittner, MD, Educational Endowed Fund scholarship award; Susan Kaplan returned to the podium to honor Alan H. Litwin as Person of the Year. The announcement was met with a standing ovation.
Alan’s involvement with The Miriam dates back more than four decades to when he volunteered in the hospital pharmacy. Since then, he has committed himself to the hospital and its patients, devoting his time, leadership, and oversight to help advance critical hospital initiatives. His significant impact includes chairing The Miriam’s Advancing Emergency and Cardiac Care: The Miriam’s Campaign for Excellence, which resulted in a complete renovation of the hospital’s emergency department. Alan is past chair of The Miriam Hospital Board and The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees, and continues to give of his talent as Chairman of the Lifespan Finance Committee and as Vice Chairman of the Lifespan Board of Directors. The Miriam is forever indebted to Alan for his selfless contributions.
“When Alan says he is going to help, he goes all in. It’s the only way he knows how to do things, and our community – and everyone who knows Alan personally – is better for it,” said Susan. “As someone who always puts others before himself, it is high time to return the favor and shine the brightest of lights on everything you do for The Miriam and for our community.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, guests gathered in The Marie J. Langlois Café for a delicious buffet reception and warm conversation.
Grease is the Word, The Miriam Hospital’s 2019 Gala, Raises $702,830
On Saturday, May 11, The Miriam Hospital took more than 450 guests back in time to Rydell High when the hospital transformed the Wheeler School Van Norman Field House for its 2019 gala and auction, Grease is the Word! Inspired by the iconic musical turned film, the signature event raised a total of $702,830.
The funds will benefit The Miriam Fund for a New Generation for hospital programs and improvements with the most crucial and pressing needs. Of the total raised, the event’s auction and fund-a-need generated $316,811 in support of The Miriam’s colorectal cancer program to improve outcomes and quality of life in three crucial areas: navigation, survivorship, and patient assistance.
“Thanks to the generosity of our donor family and the dedication of our medical leaders and our staff, The Miriam is in the vanguard of research, medical treatment, and technology, not only in the region, but in the nation,” said Arthur J. Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital. “So many give of their time, talent, and treasure not because The Miriam has needs, but because it meets needs.”
Chaired by Samara and Stuart Feldman, the evening event began with a cocktail reception, followed by remarks from hospital leadership. Guests were then introduced to a Miriam patient and oncology nurse who shared her very personal, and very moving journey with cancer.
“As nurses, all of us at The Miriam know how blessed we are to have such compassionate donors in our corner,” said Michelle Moreau. “And as a patient, I experienced firsthand what they make possible for our cancer program – I am just one example of their truly lifesaving support.”
Prior to dinner, professional auctioneer Harry Santa-Olalla presented the evening’s auction and fund-a-need to benefit The Miriam’s colorectal cancer program. Featuring exciting travel excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences, spirited bidding surrounded each package. Among those to generate friendly competition from guests was a weeklong stay in a stunning Martha’s Vineyard home that sleeps 13, which sold for $12,000.
Throughout the night, guests enjoyed the unmistakable ambiance that helped to bring Grease to life. Souvenir photos were available alongside a vintage 1957 Chevrolet, the sounds of an a cappella group filled the air, and actors portraying Danny Zuko, Sandy Olsson, and Vince Fontaine added to the authenticity.
“It was an honor for Samara and me to chair this year’s gala and give back to a hospital that means so much to so many people, including us,” said Stuart Feldman.
Added Samara, “You may not expect to find world class healthcare on a tree-lined street on Providence’s East Side, but that is exactly what we have at The Miriam and as a community, we could not be more fortunate.”
At the conclusion of the evening program, guests took to the dance floor and enjoyed the sounds of Them Apples.
The Miriam Hospital extends its thanks and appreciation to Grease is the Word presenting sponsors Amica Mutual Insurance Co., Brown Physicians, Inc., and University Orthopedics; leadership donor Amica Companies Foundation; and platinum sponsor Amaral Revite General Contractors, and the many others whose generosity made the event possible.
From left: Timothy J. Babineau, MD, president and CEO, Lifespan; Stuart and Samara Feldman, chairs of The Miriam Hospital’s gala and auction, Grease is the Word; Susan H. Kaplan, chair, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; and Arthur J. Sampson, president, The Miriam Hospital.
Michelle Moreau and Rimini Breakstone, MD at The Miriam’s 2019 gala and auction.
Guests from Rhode Island Medical Imaging show off their custom Letterman sweaters.
With Danny and Sandy center stage, the Rydell High Dance Troup performs Grease Lightning.
Grease is the Word would not be complete without the Pink Ladies and T-Birds.
From left: Marianne Litwin, Rosemary Khosrovani, Alan Litwin, and Mehdi Khosrovani.
Joined by actors who helped to bring the event to life, Steve and Jennifer Larson (second and third from left) and Mark Lucchetti and Cara Conaty (center) enjoy Grease is the Word.
Samara and Stuart Feldman, chairs of Grease is the Word, in the vintage 1957 Chevrolet that greeted guests upon their arrival to the event.
Adding to the night’s authenticity were the sounds of the Rydell High Doo-Wop Singers.
Laura Butterfield, RN, OCN, director of the Lifespan Cancer Institute at The Miriam Hospital, and her husband Raymond Butterfield arrive at ‘Rydell High School’ for Grease is the Word.
The Miriam’s Annual Meeting Honors Suzanne Gilstein as 2018 Person of the Year
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.
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.
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.”
(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’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.
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.
Raise the Bar, Raise the Hope: Brown Football’s Bench Press for Cancer Benefits The Miriam
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.
Annual Miriam People Dinner Celebrates Philanthropy, Hospital’s Rich Tradition
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.”