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, Cuyahoga County’s public health system, is honoring its commitment to create a healthier community by building a new hospital on its main campus in Cleveland. The building, and the 25 acres of green space around it, are catalyzing the revitalization of MetroHealth’s West Side neighborhood.
MetroHealth will break ground on the new hospital in late 2018, using nearly $1 billion it borrowed on its own credit after dramatically improving its finances. In the past five years, MetroHealth’s operating revenue has increased by 44.5 percent and its number of employees by 21 percent. Today, its staff of 7,700 provides care at MetroHealth’s four hospitals, four emergency departments and more than 20 health centers and 40 additional sites throughout Cuyahoga County. In the past year, MetroHealth has served 300,000 patients at more than 1.4 million visits in its hospitals and health centers, 75 percent of whom are uninsured or covered by Medicare or Medicaid.
The health system is home to Cuyahoga County’s most experienced Level I Adult Trauma Center, verified since 1992, and the only adult and pediatric burn center in the state of Ohio.
As an academic medical center, MetroHealth is committed to teaching and research. Each active staff physician holds a faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and its main campus hospital houses a Cleveland Metropolitan School District high school of science and health.
For more information, visit metrohealth.org.