Physician Couple’s Leadership Gift to Provide Six Endowments for The MetroHealth System
Two longtime MetroHealth physicians have made a substantial leadership gift to The MetroHealth System’s campus transformation. It is the largest individual gift in MetroHealth’s history, and the first lead contribution to the five-year, $100 million philanthropic campaign, “For All of Us.”
The gift from Alfred F. Connors Jr., MD, and Mildred Lam, MD, will establish three endowed research professorships and one endowed teaching fellowship as tributes to their parents. Two additional endowed research professorships, named after Dr. Connors and Dr. Lam, will be created by their estate. The endowments will be housed at MetroHealth in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine.
A matching gift program component also will be added; Dr. Connors and Dr. Lam, who live in Shaker Heights, say they want to extend the impact of their gift by encouraging others to donate to the campaign.
Dr. Connors, a Cleveland native and graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, currently serves as interim chair of the department of medicine at MetroHealth. He previously served as division director, department chair, chief medical officer and chief quality officer for the system and was recently inducted into the MetroHealth Medical Hall of Honor. Dr. Lam, a graduate of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine, is a nephrologist and educator. The two met during their residency training at MetroHealth and married in 1978. They joined the faculty at MetroHealth and CWRU in 1981.
“The generosity displayed by Dr. Connors and Dr. Lam sends a powerful message and sets the tone for our fundraising campaign moving forward,” said MetroHealth President and CEO Akram Boutros, MD, FACHE. “With this collection of endowments, these two physician leaders have raised the bar for philanthropic engagement.”
In addition to raising money for education and research, the “For All of Us” campaign focuses on advancing health equity, nurturing community well-being and cultivating neighborhood prosperity.
The endowments – five supporting research and one supporting teaching – are as follows:
Alfred F. Connors Sr., Health Services and Population Health Research Professorship
Mary Elizabeth Connors Critical Care Research Professorship
Rita Cheng Lam, RN, Nephrology Research Professorship
Robert Ching Lam, MD, Teaching Fellowship
Alfred Connors Jr., MD, Critical Care Research Professorship
Mildred Lam, MD, Nephrology Research Professorship
“This is part of supporting the MetroHealth Transformation,” Dr. Connors said. “Rather than putting our money into new buildings, we thought we’d support the people in those buildings. This gift will help attract excellent faculty and support innovative research and teaching.”
Dr. Lam added, “We wanted to honor our parents by creating endowments in their names to support scholarship, teaching, and research. They were always strong advocates of education, and would have been proud to support these causes. These gifts also reflect our own pride in MetroHealth: It has been a privilege to serve the mission of this institution over the years. We are grateful for the care it has provided for our community and for our family.”
The MetroHealth System is redefining health care by going beyond medical treatment to improve the foundations of community health and well-being: affordable housing, a cleaner environment, economic opportunity and access to fresh food, convenient transportation, legal help and other services. The system strives to become as good at preventing disease as it is at treating it.
The system’s more than 600 doctors, 1,700 nurses and 7,800 employees go to work each day with a mission of service, to their patients and to the community. As Cuyahoga County’s safety-net health system, MetroHealth plays an essential role in the region, caring for anyone and everyone, regardless of an ability to pay.
Founded in 1837, MetroHealth operates four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. The system serves more than 300,000 patients, two-thirds of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
MetroHealth is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and Ohio’s only adult and pediatric trauma and burn center.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to research and to teaching and training tomorrow’s caregivers. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Its main campus hospital houses the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Lincoln-West School of Science & Health, the only high school in America located inside a hospital.
Knowing that good health is about much more than good medical care, MetroHealth has launched the Institute for H.O.P.E.™ (Health, Opportunity, Partnership, Empowerment), which uses a coordinated, collaborative and strategic approach to help patients with non-medical needs such as healthy food, stable housing and job training.
The MetroHealth Glick Center, a new 11-floor hospital, is under construction on the system’s main campus in Cleveland and is scheduled to welcome its first patients in October 2022. The billion-dollar project is the cornerstone of a wider neighborhood revitalization effort led by the system and its partners in the community.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.