Golisano pledges $50M toward new UR institute

Print More
Tom Golisano’s total philanthropy to the University of Rochester Medical Center now nears $100 million. (Photo: UR/Matt Wittmeyer)

The University of Rochester has received a $50 million commitment—the largest single donation in its history—from entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Golisano. 

The gift will establish the Golisano Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Institute at the UR Medical Center. The transdisciplinary institute will assist with the health and quality-of-life issues that affect this population. 

With this donation, between personal giving and his foundation, Golisano’s total philanthropy to URMC nears $100 million, UR says. The donation also names the Golisano Specialty Clinic at Eastman Dental Center, which serves nearly 2,000 people with IDD each year.

“Creating a better world for people with IDD has been a passion of mine for over 40 years. I know that this is a shared goal with Golisano Children’s Hospital and the URMC as they have proven through their ongoing commitment and growth in this field of care,” says Golisano, Paychex founder. 

For UR, the gift expands its strengths in IDD patient care, community reach and caregiver support programs across the institution. Some of these include its Complex Care Center, the departments of neurology and pediatrics, and its division of developmental and behavioral pediatrics among several others.

“I am tremendously grateful to Tom for his visionary commitment to IDD, to this University, and to his hometown of Rochester,” says Sarah Mangelsdorf, UR president and the G. Robert Witmer Jr. university professor. “His transformative generosity will propel our strengths, deepen our commitment to IDD, and truly change lives around the world. There is no question that those with IDD will have a better, brighter future because of Tom Golisano.”

John Foxe, the Killian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt Chair in neuroscience and director of the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience, will assume leadership of the IDD institute.

“The institute will serve as a pivotal hub for excellence and will advance, advocate, serve, and champion IDD care, treatments, and education around the world,” Foxe says.

UR says that resources will immediately serve people with IDD while propelling the institute into prominence, allowing the university to accomplish what it estimates would take 20 years otherwise. Golisano’s gift places the UR among the most recognizable centers in the nation today.

“Combining our strengths in therapeutic innovation, specialized IDD training, and community partnerships with our exceptional strengths in delivering quality, cutting-edge health care across our specialty clinics will position the Golisano IDD Institute to provide new models of IDD care,” says Foxe, who adds that over the last nine years UR has invested nearly $80 million in IDD programs.

Golisano’s gift, he says, will help close gaps, address challenges and meet other demands. 

“We can now purchase the highly sophisticated tools required to allow breakthroughs in diagnosis and treatment, hire and train more professionals, and better meet the growing demand for services,” Foxe says.

Both the IDD Institute and the Eastman Institute for Oral Health will be able to serve more patients who are part of a traditionally underserved population. IDD affects some 19,000 people locally, 120,000 regionally, and 200 million worldwide, UR estimates. Last year, the oral health institute was the largest provider of dental care to people with special needs–roughly 2,000–from more than 40 New York counties, director Eli Eliav says.

URMC’s vision for the institute takes its dedication and care for this population to a new level, Golisano says, placing patients front and center.

“The impact will be an enhanced quality of life and access to care that, before now, has only been a dream for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families,” he says.

Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected]

One thought on “Golisano pledges $50M toward new UR institute

  1. To be in a position of providing such a gift is one thing, following through and making it happen, another. Tom Golisano has given more to the Rochester community than anyone else can even dream to do. He could have just forgotten about Rochester after his departure. To think that he ran for office and was denied. He could have made NYS a great state politically.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *