Donor support strengthens Institute during COVID-19 pandemic.

Donor support strengthens Institute during COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past year, Dana-Farber has seen an extraordinary outpouring of community support, with many donors contributing money and resources to help us best serve our patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among these were Wycliffe “Wyc” Grousbeck and Emilia Fazzalari, with their recent gift to support Dana-Farber’s Emergency Response Fund as well as COVID-19 testing and antibody testing research.

The couple points to Dana-Farber’s reputation as a leader in cancer research and care as their inspiration to give, especially now during a challenging time for the Institute and many of the patients served by the Institute.

“Our approach to philanthropy is to make commitments to the best people and places we can find and stick with it over the long term,” said Grousbeck, a sentiment he and Fazzalari have taken to heart throughout their personal and professional lives, their gift to Dana-Farber being one of the many ways they are involved in the Boston community. In addition to their personal support, the Boston Celtics, of which Grousbeck is managing partner, governor, and CEO, has also supported the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon along with the Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and New England Patriots in support of the Jimmy Fund.

The Emergency Response Fund was established in March 2020 to ensure that Dana-Farber could successfully navigate the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The Institute introduced enhanced safety procedures including reconfiguration of clinical spaces to better maintain social distancing; a telemedicine program to allow patients to visit with their care team virtually; and a novel decontamination program enabling personal protective equipment (PPE) to be safely used more than once. All of these measures, and many others, generated significant costs that were offset in part by donors like Grousbeck and Fazzalari.

“We wanted to help the Institute get through the financial strains of this pandemic,” said Fazzalari. “We love to support people who are doing world-class work, and Dana-Farber is at the top of the list.”

A portion of the gift also provides crucial resources for COVID-19 testing and antibody testing research led by Eric Fischer, PhD, and William C. Hahn, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, and the William Rosenberg Professor of Medicine. Philanthropic dollars were, and remain, crucial to accelerating these efforts, all for the health and safety of our staff and patients. “During this difficult time, the value our healthcare providers and researchers bring to society has never been clearer,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO of Dana-Farber and the Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine. “Support from our generous community of donors helps Dana-Farber continue delivering the highest standard of care and global scientific leadership.”

“This is a gift out of respect and love for what Dana-Farber does and for the people it treats,” said Grousbeck. “We know that we are supporting the very best.”

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