ALBANY, N.Y., April 11, 2006—J. Spencer Standish, former chair of the Board of the Albany International Corporation, has been named the Distinguished Individual Philanthropist of the Year by the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc.
The award was bestowed at the Foundation’s Partners in Leadership reception held Wednesday evening (April 5) at the Fort Orange Club in Albany. The Foundation, which serves as the Medical Center’s fundraising organization, also presented Matt and Kelly Leach with the Distinguished Volunteers of the Year Award; Mohawk Ambulance Service with the Distinguished Corporate Philanthropist of the Year Award; and Daniel Sisto, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) with the Alden March Award for Public Service to Health Care.
“We are grateful for the time, dedication and generous gifts that these and numerous other individuals and corporations give so selflessly to the Albany Medical Center, which enable us to sustain our vital missions of patient care, medical education and research,” said James J. Barba, chairman of the Board of Directors and president and chief executive officer of the Albany Medical Center. “The Medical Center’s ongoing success is theirs to share.”
A $1 million gift from Standish recently funded the J. Spencer Standish Endowed Chair in Neurosciences, which is held by Anthony Ritaccio, M.D., professor of neurology and neurosurgery. The Chair was established to support the delivery of care and ongoing research for patients suffering with epilepsy. Standish has also supported numerous other Medical Center initiatives throughout the years, including the 21/21 Campaign, the annual fund and the John H. Carter Endowed Scholarship at the Medical College.
After losing their four and one-half year-old son Kyle to leukemia in 1998, Matt and Kelly Leach became avid supporters of the Medical Center, volunteering their time and efforts to assist other families faced with a similar tragedy. Through the annual Kyle Leach Memorial Golf Tournament, and with the support of numerous friends, business partners and community members, the Leach family has raised more than $350,000 to fund The Kyle Leach Child Life Program, which supports the work of child life therapists and social workers who help to create a child-friendly environment and provide emotional support to children and their families in the Child Cancer Program at Albany Med.
Mohawk Ambulance Service was recognized for its many contributions to the Medical Center over the past 15 years, including more than $170,000 in gifts and commitments for programs and sponsorship benefiting the Children’s Hospital, South Clinical Campus and the Department of Emergency Medicine at Albany Med. Recently, a new ambulance purchased and owned by Mohawk Ambulance was unveiled to be used exclusively for the transport of infants and critically ill children to the Children’s Hospital.
Serving as the president of HANYS since 1986, Daniel Sisto was recognized for the vital role he has played in protecting New York hospitals from billions of dollars of proposed budget cuts through his advocacy and coalition building. Representing more than 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other health care organizations, HANYS, under Sisto’s leadership, has developed a national reputation for its expertise in data management, and effective state and federal advocacy.
The event also recognized all donors who made a gift of $1,000 or more to the Medical Center last year. In 2005, more than 692 “partners”—individuals, businesses and foundations—contributed to Albany Medical Center’s Annual Fund and for capital purposes.
The mission of the Albany Medical Center Foundation is to encourage regional and national philanthropy in support of the missions and ambitions of the Albany Medical Center.