A New Ambulance Rolls Out
A new critical-care ambulance designed to care and transport sick and injured children to Albany Med from hospitals in northeastern New York and western New England was rolled out in 2020, a gift from the Massry family, of Albany, who donated $250,000 for the specialized vehicle.
“As a family, we are dedicated to making sure the children of this community have all they need to thrive,” said Norman Massry. “This new ambulance, specially equipped for children, means that acute care for our youngest patients starts immediately. Paired with the resources of the Massry Family Children’s Emergency Center and the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital, we feel confident that the medical services our children need are being delivered in a way only Albany Med can provide.”
The only one of its kind in the region, this ambulance will transport newborns from other hospitals in the region who require expert care at the region’s most technologically advanced NICU at Albany Med, inpatients with chronic conditions requiring transport to other facilities or home, pediatric oncology patients from the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, and critically ill children from other hospitals needing trauma or medical care that Albany Med can provide in our region.
“The Massry family continues to demonstrate their deep belief in the importance of the health and wellness of our region’s children through their generous philanthropic support,” said Dennis P. McKenna, MD, ’92, president and CEO. “On behalf of Albany Med and the region’s children and their families, we express our sincerest thanks to the Massry family for their generous support and to our long-time partners at Mohawk Ambulance Services, which will operate the ambulance.”
Caring for the ‘Whole Child’
The Child Life Specialist program at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital has continued to grow over the years, as its importance and value become increasingly apparent.
While medical staff focuses on the child’s body, the Child Life specialists help reduce the stress of being in the hospital for both young patients and their families providing a variety of services, including developing trust in the care team and calming anxiety.
Since 2009, the Spirit of Children, a foundation associated with the Spirit Halloween stores nationwide, has donated more than a half-a-million dollars to Albany Med’s Child Life program, including $89,100 in 2020.
With this donation, the children’s hospital expanded its Child Life services to the Massry Family Children’s Emergency Center, the only pediatric emergency department in northeastern New York state and western New England, which saw 15,430 patients in 2020.
“Albany Med is very grateful for the longtime support of Spirit of Children and the Spirit Halloween stores’ associates and their customers. For more than a decade, they have focused their gifts on sick and injured children and helped make our children’s hospital and pediatric emergency department better for the children and families we serve,” said Robin Dugan, MS, RNC-NIC, nurse manager, Pediatrics and Child Life Specialists, Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital.
Medical College Alumni Name Alma Mater in Estate Plan
The lives of Kathleen Kelly, MD, ’82, and Arnold Rosen, MD, ’82, have been intertwined ever since they met in an elevator on Orientation Day at Albany Medical College. They went through medical school together, married two years after graduation, raised their family, had successful careers and are now two of a growing number of alumni who have chosen to thank their alma mater by naming the institution in their estate plan and making a bequest. Their generous gift of $1 million will help the College recruit the most talented students no matter what their financial need.
“Using your will is a very easy way for physicians to remember institutions that are important to them,” they said.
“We owe so much to the education we received in Albany. We need to express that gratitude by giving back,” said Dr. Kelly.
“Albany Med gave me my life – and my wife,” Dr. Rosen said. “I can’t thank them enough.”
Since leaving Albany Medical College nearly 40 years ago, “not a day goes by that I don’t reflect on medical school experience. I am the physician I am today because of Albany Medical College,” explained Dr. Kelly, who was the chief medical officer of the Swedish American Health System for 10 years and is now assistant dean of Graduate Medical Education and designated institutional officer at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford.
“The education I received was a superior foundation for my career,” agreed Dr. Rosen, who retired in 2017 after serving the Rockford, Illinois, community, where they live, as a private practice gastroenterologist for 27 years, and teaching at the University of Illinois Medical College at Rockford where he remains on the faculty.
“Our goal is to see a cure for diabetes in our lifetime.”
-Robert Kivort, president of Kivort Steel Inc. and member of the Development Committee of the Albany Med Board of Directors
For Robert Kivort, of Slingerlands, diabetes is personal; his brother has suffered from Type 1 diabetes, a disease that strikes one in 10 American adults.
It’s also company-wide; each year his company fields more than 100 cyclists, runners, and walkers in the Capital Region Tour de Cure, and in 2018, it was named the top fund-raising team in the United States by the American Diabetes Association. In addition, they host several fundraisers throughout the year including a golf tournament that sells out. All of this to help find a cure and provide the best treatment for diabetes.
This passion to see a cure for diabetes has also touched Albany Med. With a special gift in 2020, Kivort and fundraising co-captain, Howard Katz established the Kivort Steel Revolution Fund at Albany Med to support patients who need access to care, resources for treatment and insulin, and more.
“With nearly 70 percent of our patient population eligible for Medicaid and Medicare, it is not uncommon that access to care may also mean support for transportation to their appointments, access to healthy foods and nutrition or other costs associated with diabetes care,” said Sara N. Clark, MD ’01 division chief, Department of Endocrinology, which saw more than 100,000 adult patient visits and 10,200 pediatric patient visits in 2020.
“This first-ever fund means that we can truly make a difference here in the Capital Region,” she continued, thanking Robert Kivort, Kivort Steel, and its employees for their support of Albany Med and the diabetes program.