Jefferson Receives $20 Million Farber Gift
PHILADELPHIA - Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health announced today a transformational $20 million gift from Vickie and Jack Farber to strengthen the neuroscience institute that bears their name. The gift, which brings the Farbers’ total philanthropy to Jefferson to $35 million, will be used to expand clinical and research programs in Jefferson’s Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience.
The $20 million gift will support the Farber Institute’s transformative work as Jefferson’s first Clinical and Research Integrated Strategic Program (CRISP), an innovative approach to organizing healthcare based on disease focus, rather than by departments or specialties. This rethinking of the traditional clinical service line will provide a pathway for easier access and improved experience for patients. The CRISP model will also facilitate deeper collaboration among faculty and speed the pace of research discoveries.
The Farbers’ investment will also make an immediate impact by providing infrastructure and funding to the Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center, which combines basic and clinical research with personalized care for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The center is a partnership with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
“For three decades, Vickie and Jack Farber have been inspiring Jefferson to reimagine how we research and care for neurological conditions, and this incredible gift will help us usher in a new era of hope for treatments and preventative therapies — maybe even cures — for ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other life-robbing brain diseases,” said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Jefferson.
“Research into these devastating neurologic diseases has been gaining momentum at Jefferson for years, and Vickie and I chose to make this investment now because we want to be a part of the transformation which we know is in process,” said Jack Farber.
Additionally, the gift will support an expansion of the Farber Institute’s neurovascular program, enabling the development of novel therapeutic strategies for conditions such as intracranial vascular malformation, intracranial tumor, stroke and intracranial stenosis utilizing emerging technologies.
The Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience was founded in 2002 with a $10 million lead gift from the Farber Family Foundation and the mission of translating neuroscience discoveries into breakthroughs in patient care. Today, the Institute has grown into a nearly $250 million integrated research and clinical enterprise that is home to an internationally renowned team of 115 faculty members, 78 residents, 68 clinical and research fellows, 285 staff members and 35 students all dedicated to making groundbreaking advances in neurological care.
“This is a critical moment in time for the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience,” said Robert H. Rosenwasser, MD, the Jewell L. Osterholm, MD, Professor and Chair of Neurological Surgery at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and inaugural President of the Farber Institute. “It is an opportunity to redefine the future of neuroscience knowledge and its application to alleviating disease and suffering for patients and families today and tomorrow.”
The Farbers have been touched personally by neurodegenerative diseases. Vickie lost her father to ALS and her mother to Alzheimer’s disease.
In his professional life, Jack was Chairman of the Board of CSS Industries Inc. of Philadelphia, a consumer products company that is primarily engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of seasonal social expression and educational products to mass-market retailers. The Farbers have been active in supporting local charities as donors and board members.
At Jefferson, the couple’s philanthropy has been expansive. They established the Farber Fellowship, which has been awarded annually since 1989, in addition to supporting a myriad of scholarships, professorships, events and research funds. Jack has been a member of Jefferson’s Board of Trustees since 1984, including a term as Chairman from January 1995 to June 2000. Vickie has served on the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Women’s Board since 1995.
“Vickie and Jack Farber have been something of an institution themselves at Jefferson,” said Richard Hevner, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University. “Over the decades, they have consistently been among our most loyal champions and have energetically delved into all facets of our enterprise, from care to education to the cutting edge translational science at the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience.”
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