UH News

University Hospitals Receives $14.5 Million in New Gifts

Monday, February 18, 2013

Barbara Ruhlman and Kathleen Coleman Support UH Discover the Difference Campaign

CLEVELAND - University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland, Ohio, has received two significant gifts totaling $14.5 million in support of the health system’s $1.5 billion Discover the Difference Campaign. Kathleen Coleman has donated $7.5 million to the UH Seidman Cancer Center and Barbara Peterson Ruhlman has made a gift of $6 million to UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital, which will be matched by a $1 million gift from the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation.

UH Chief Executive Officer Thomas F. Zenty III announced the gifts today to a crowd of more than 400 friends and supporters of the health system at its annual outreach event in Naples, Florida. “Barbara and Kathy have both committed decades of dedicated service to University Hospitals as tireless volunteer leaders and generous benefactors,” said Mr. Zenty. “Their extraordinary generosity will enable UH to further strengthen our nationally recognized programs in cancer and women’s health and will have a lasting legacy for the patients treated at Seidman Cancer Center and MacDonald Women’s Hospital.”

These are the largest gifts since UH announced plans in December 2012 to continue its $1 billion Discover the Difference Campaign and pursue an expanded goal of $1.5 billion. The campaign – the largest in the history of Northeast Ohio – has received unprecedented support, including more than 100,000 gifts from more than 60,000 individuals, foundations and corporations. This brings new gifts to UH since the $1.5 billion announcement to $27 million.

The Generosity of Mrs. Kathleen A. Coleman: A $7.5 Million Gift to UH Seidman Cancer Center

Mrs. Coleman has made this new $7.5 million gift to further advance cancer clinical trials at UH Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center. She made previous gifts of $3 million in honor of her late husband, Dr. Lester E. Coleman, bringing her lifetime giving to UH to $10.5 million. Dr. Coleman, a scientist and the former CEO of Lubrizol Corporation, was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer at age 69 and participated in a clinical trial at Seidman Cancer Center.

In honor of Mrs. Coleman’s significant donation, UH is establishing the Kathy and Les Coleman Clinical Trials Center at Seidman Cancer Center. Mrs. Coleman’s gift will strengthen multiple aspects of the program, from expediting drug development to advancing diagnostic technology and developing new cancer treatments. The gift will support the expansion of the renowned clinical research program and is earmarked for early stage clinical trials, new technology and research equipment as well as patient education on the importance of clinical trials participation.

This is Mrs. Coleman’s third major investment in UH’s cancer clinical trials program. In 2001, she made a $1.5 million endowed gift to establish the Dr. Lester E. Coleman, Jr. Chair in Cancer Research and Therapeutics. Mrs. Coleman further honored her husband’s legacy in 2007 by making an additional $1.5 million gift to complete a vital capital project: the Kathleen A. and Dr. Lester E. Coleman Clinical Research Suite at Seidman Cancer Center, a leading-edge clinical trials patient unit featuring inpatient beds for clinical trials, along with a control room for cell processing and diagnostics. Through her advocacy and personal support, as part of the Discover the Difference Campaign, Mrs. Coleman is currently leading a $15 million campaign aimed at advancing cancer clinical trials.

“The Colemans have done so much to advance cancer care, from Les’ participation in a clinical trial to Kathy’s generosity and volunteer leadership at Seidman Cancer Center,” said Nathan Levitan, MD, President, UH Seidman Cancer Center. “This new gift will enable us to build upon our long legacy of being at the forefront of cancer research and will have a tremendous impact on achieving our goal: Curing Cancer Every Day.”

As one of the nation’s leaders in clinical research, Seidman Cancer Center is dedicated to innovative treatments and clinical research through more than 300 ongoing studies aimed at cancer treatment and prevention. As part of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University, Seidman Cancer Center is also one of only seven centers in the nation with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Phase I and Phase II trials with new drugs.

“Les and I were so grateful for the care he received at Seidman Cancer Center and he enjoyed a greater quality of life through participating in the clinical trials program,” said Mrs. Coleman. “This gift honors his lifelong commitment to advancing science and I am so excited to support the advancement of clinical trials which will have a profound impact on patients today and for generations to come.”

The Generosity of Barbara Ruhlman: A $6 Million Gift to UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital

Barbara Ruhlman’s gift of $6 million will be used to further strengthen UH’s nationally recognized excellence in obstetrics and gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and fertility, and maternal fetal medicine. In tribute to Mrs. Ruhlman’s enduring generosity and support of MacDonald Women’s Hospital, the health system is also naming the maternity program in her honor. Mrs. Ruhlman’s most recent gift brings her lifetime giving to over $10 million.

Mrs. Ruhlman’s support of UH spans more than 65 years. Her service to the hospital began when she was a teenager volunteering at MacDonald Women’s Hospital, where she continued to volunteer after marrying and having a family of her own.

“From Barbara’s days as a young volunteer to this extraordinary gift to our women’s hospital, she has demonstrated her generosity of spirit and commitment to University Hospitals,” said Patricia DePompei, President, UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital and UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “This monumental gift will enable us to advance our dedication to high-quality, personalized care for women in all phases of life and build on our legacy as one of the nation’s top women’s hospitals.”

The first $5 million of Mrs. Ruhlman’s gift will be invested in a number of capital improvements that will elevate the environment of care and patient experience for the more than 57,000 women who receive care annually by specialists at MacDonald Women’s Hospital – Ohio’s only hospital devoted solely to women’s health. Priority capital projects supported by the gift include renovations of a patient floor for the maternal fetal medicine program and refurbishing the lobby, entrance and welcome center. The gift will also support the completion of the hospital’s Labor & Delivery Surgical Facilities.

The additional $1 million will create an endowment to ensure MacDonald Women’s Hospital’s excellence in recruiting and retaining leading OB/GYN physicians as well as training and educating caregivers through innovative educational programs. With its designation to support maternal fetal medicine and other key areas within MacDonald Women’s Hospital, the gift has leveraged a $1 million matching gift from the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Foundation. In 2012, the foundation made a $32.5 million gift to Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, $7.5 million of which was allocated to provide a 1:1 match contribution for gifts that support the hospital’s priority areas.

Mrs. Ruhlman has been a leading benefactor of UH since 2008 when she made a significant gift to the Discover the Difference Campaign. The Thomas F. Peterson Foundation, led by Mrs. Ruhlman and named in honor of her father, a Cleveland industrialist and philanthropist, contributed $2.5 million to the campaign to fund the renovation of the 11th floor of Alfred and Norma Lerner Tower on the UH Case Medical Center campus. The space, which contains a state-of-the-art conference center and board room, is named the Barbara Peterson Ruhlman Conference Center.

In addition, Mrs. Ruhlman the same year made a $1.5 million gift to establish the Barbara Peterson Ruhlman Chair in Orthopaedics at UH Case Medical Center. The gift was made in honor of the care she received from UH orthopaedic specialists.

“My parents instilled in me the importance of returning what you can to help other people and I am fortunate to be able to support this hospital that I love,” said Mrs. Ruhlman. “It’s where I had my children and where my grandson received lifesaving care for cancer as a teenager. My parents and late husband were cared for here and I have benefited from the extraordinary care of University Hospitals’ experts in orthopaedics and arthritis.”

Campaign Visionaries

The gifts make both Mrs. Ruhlman and Mrs. Coleman two of only 15 Campaign Visionaries in University Hospitals’ nearly 150-year history to have made gifts of $10 million or more. In addition, both women hold significant volunteer leadership roles within the system. Mrs. Ruhlman currently serves as Chair of UH MacDonald Women’s Health Leadership Council and Mrs. Coleman is Chair of the UH Seidman Cancer Leadership Council.

“We are very grateful that Barbara and Kathy have both chosen to support University Hospitals once again,” said Mr. Zenty. “Kathy, Barbara and our entire philanthropic community are making it possible for us to provide the most innovative and highest quality care to more patients across our region. Their generosity, along with all supporters of the Discover the Difference Campaign, will have a profound impact on how health care is delivered throughout the country.”

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