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Largest Healthcare Fundraising Campaign in Region Raises $131.6 Million for Albany Medical Center
   June 9, 2005


              ALBANY, N.Y., June 9, 2005 - Officials at Albany Medical Center today announced the results of the most ambitious fundraising campaign ever conducted by a healthcare organization in the Capital Region. More than $131.6 million was raised during the five-year “Pillars Campaign,” surpassing the goal of $125 million.

            “This is an incredible accomplishment and constitutes a wonderful expression of confidence in our institution from the community. I thank the residents of the Capital Region and many alumni from across the country for their generous donations,” said James J. Barba, chairman of the Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer of the Medical Center.

            The Pillars Campaign, named after the landmark columns situated at the front of the Medical Center on New Scotland Avenue, was designed to strengthen northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, which consists of both the Albany Medical Center Hospital and the Albany Medical College. It was led by three area businessmen with long-time ties to the institution: Robert J. Higgins, chairman and chief executive officer of Trans World Entertainment Corporation and former chairman of the Medical Center’s Board of Directors; John Picotte, chairman of the Picotte Companies and former chairman of the Medical Center’s Board of Directors; and Carl Touhey, president of the Orange Motor Group and a principal owner of Touhey Associates and a long-time AMC Board member.

            Higgins and Picotte served as co-chairs of the campaign and Touhey was the honorary chair. Barba said all three were instrumental in the campaign’s success.


            “While I am thrilled by the success of the Pillars Campaign, I am not surprised by it,” Barba added. “The region is blessed by a variety of individuals and corporations that truly understand the importance of our Medical Center’s missions and that spare no time, effort or expense in their support of it. For this we will be forever grateful.”

Barba said an early gift from Bob and Anne Higgins played a pivotal role in the success of the 5-year effort. “Bob and Anne’s leadership gift of $10 million—the largest individual gift ever made to the Medical Center - created the sparks that ignited our campaign. We are tremendously grateful for their generosity and commitment to the Medical Center.”

According to Higgins, “The Albany Medical Center is the region’s single most important asset we have for enhancing the quality of life in Tech Valley. There is no doubt that this institution makes life better for consumers and businesses alike. I know from personal experience at Trans World that we showcase Albany Med when recruiting and relocating executives from outside the region.”

Several major campaign achievements include:

·        More than $35 million in commitments were made for endowment for faculty physicians in order to advance institutional priorities such as research and student financial aid. In addition, 21 new endowed chairs were created.

·        A $10.6 million renovation and expansion of the Family of Charles and Winifred Touhey Emergency Care Center made Albany Med one of the most advanced trauma facilities in the nation.

·        A state-of-the-art 14,000 square foot pediatric intensive care unit was built with public, corporate and private donations.

·        The Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders—a 5,000 square-foot outpatient facility—was created to serve 200 active patients and 500 cancer survivors each year.

·        A collaboration with General Electric Global Research helped fund the Neuroscience Advanced Imaging Research Center, which uses molecular imaging to seek a cure for Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.

·        A gift from the family of Anne B. Goldberg helped create an Alzheimer’s Resource Center in order to provide advanced care management and educational programs to patients with this debilitating illness.

·        A generous gift from Ken and Thelma Lally helped fund the Lally Stroke Unit—an eight-bed unit for Albany Med’s nationally recognized stroke program.

·        Private gifts and a public grant helped create The Breast Care Center, housing state-of-the-art imaging technology.

Additional milestones include an anonymous gift of $9.5 million—the Children’s Hospital’s largest single gift; the largest alumni gift—a $5.5 million challenge gift from David Falk, M.D., a graduate of the class of 1943; a 33 percent increase in Annual Fund giving since 1999; and $31 million raised in 2002—the most money ever raised in gifts and commitments in a single year at the Medical Center.

            In recognition of the campaign’s success, Mayor Gerald Jennings proclaimed today “Albany Medical Center—The Pillar of the Community—Day.”  Gov. George Pataki also issued a formal proclamation designating the day in honor of the Medical Center, as did the New York State Senate and Assembly.

A dinner celebration will take place tonight at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center to honor those who had contributed more than $1,000 to the Campaign. Approximately 400 guests are expected to attend. The event will be hosted by ABC Medical Editor Timothy Johnson, M.D., an alumnus of the Albany Medical College (1969). The evening will end with a community fireworks presentation at 9:15 p.m. at the Plaza.

In addition to Barba and the campaign chairs, other members of the Pillars Campaign executive committee included Matthew Bender IV, Lewis Britton, M.D., Nancy Carey Cassidy, Peter Heerwagen, Mary Kahl, Ph.D., A. John Popp, M.D., and Vincent Verdile, M.D., dean of the Albany Medical College. The campaign consultant was William McGoldrick, and staff leaders in the AMC development department during the campaign were David Buran, senior VP for external relations; Ron Joyce, former senior VP for external relations; Lori Matt-Murphy, associate VP of Foundation operations and planned giving, and Ann Malagisi, former associate VP of major gifts. The Medical Center’s last major fundraising campaign, “The Fund for 21/21,” had a goal of raising $21 million. It actually raised $26 million.

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