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hronicle C Of Giving Medical College of Virginia Foundation Spring 2016

Transforming Patient Care

Chronicle Of Giving §

The Chronicle of Giving is published twice a year by the MCV Foundation for alumni and friends of the Medical College of Virginia Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. © 2016 MCV Foundation


Letter from the Chairman


The Wright Gift


MCV Campus News


Discovery Series


Editor: Alex Henley Contributors: Margaret Ann Bollmeier, Jennings Dawson, Gail Johnson, Lauren Moore, Marsha Rappley, M.D., Brian S. Thomas Graphic Design: Kevin Schindler


The MCV Foundation’s mission is to inspire and steward philanthropy throughout the MCV Campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. Chartered in 1949, the MCV Foundation works in partnership with alumni and friends of MCV Schools, Hospitals and Massey Cancer Center.


We support the institution in its quest: • To preserve and restore health • To seek the cause and cure of diseases • To educate those who would serve humanity


Through your donations, the MCV Foundation provides integral support to the dedicated teachers, clinicians, researchers and students whose efforts place the MCV Campus among the world’s leading academic medical centers providing technically superb and compassionate care to patients. The MCV Foundation supports the education, research and clinical care mission of our MCV Campus Partners: VCU School of Allied Health Professions, VCU School of Dentistry, VCU School of Medicine, VCU School of Nursing, VCU School of Pharmacy, VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Medical Center.


hronicle Of Giving Medical College of Virginia Foundation Spring 2016

Transforming Patient Care

On the Cover Ken Wright visits the lab of Alpha (Berry) Fowler III, M.D., in the Molecular Medicine Research Building, which houses 48 principal investigators in an open layout to encourage interaction among researchers across disciplines. Front and back cover photos: Kevin Schindler

Egyptian Building photo this page and Chairman Gail W. Johnson photo next page: Kevin Schindler

Letter from the Chairman

MCV Foundation Board of Trustees 2015-2016

2015 was an exceptional year for the MCV Foundation. New gifts and pledges to the MCV Campus topped $70 million, and the Foundation finished the fiscal year with an investment return of 4.06%, compared to our benchmark of 2.66%. These achievements contributed to our net income of $11.1 million for the year, and helped grow our total assets to $490.1 million, an increase from the previous fiscal year of $10.4 million. On behalf of the staff at the Foundation and my fellow trustees, I want to express my gratitude to all of our alumni and friends. Your Gail W. Johnson, R.N. generosity greatly enriches the lives of the patients, students and faculty on the MCV Campus. Without you, these financial gains and these campus impacts would not have been possible! We are pleased to welcome new leadership on the MCV Campus and at the Foundation. Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., is the new VCU vice president for health sciences and VCU Health System chief executive officer. We are fortunate to have such an experienced national leader at VCU. Dr. Rappley most recently served as dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Margaret Ann Bollmeier is the Foundation’s new president. Margaret Ann was previously at Cornell University and has 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience, including 14 years as a foundation chief executive. She has already made a significant impact since her start with us in late November. Our cover story highlights the generosity of Ken Wright. We are so grateful for his tremendous $16 million gift to name the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research at VCU. This gift will accelerate the translational research already going on at the MCV Campus and lead to a lot of exciting new treatments. Longtime supporter and MCVF board member Dr. George Vetrovec is retiring from VCU Health after 39 years of service. He has been on the MCV Campus since his residency and has made a substantial impact on the colleagues, students and patients he interacts with every day through his work as a physician, educator and fundraiser. Dr. Vetrovec will continue to be engaged with several important board initiatives. The MCV Campus and the MCV Foundation have been the beneficiaries of his longstanding and storied career. For this, we are very grateful and look forward to our continued partnership with him. Currently, the Foundation is embarking on a number of exciting new projects. Building on our strategic operating plan, our new president, Margaret Ann Bollmeier, is working with a board member task force to develop a strategic plan that will guide the Foundation over the next several years. Our newly hired director of marketing communications, Alex Henley, is working with the communications committee to complete a brand research study. This study will inform a communications plan that will define our marketing strategy, collateral materials and other communication tools. Working in collaboration with the new branding guidelines of VCU Health, we have already developed our new logo that is in this issue of the Chronicle. On a personal note, serving as your chairman for the last three years has truly been a privilege. The last three years have been years of many changes and many opportunities for MCVF. With the support of our extraordinarily engaged board of trustees, we have prevailed, and the Foundation has continued to focus on EXCELLENCE in every facet of its operation and in the support of the MCV Campus, its schools and its units. At the end of this fiscal year, I will be stepping down as chairman into my new role as immediate past chair. Harry Thalhimer will assume the role of chairman of the board on July 1, 2016. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Harry in this new role. He has been on our board since 2009, and his experience and enthusiasm will be a great addition to the Foundation. Congratulations and best wishes for great success, Mr. Thalhimer! It has been my pleasure to serve on the board since 1995, and watch the tremendous growth the Foundation has experienced over the last 20+ years. With the Foundation’s new leadership, new additions to the MCVF staff and a new strategic plan that will include a marketing and communications plan in progress, we are poised to have a very busy and successful 2016-2017 fiscal year. Sincerely,

Gail W. Johnson, R.N. Chairman MCV Foundation Board of Trustees

John O. Beckner, R.Ph. Katherine C. Bobbitt, Ed.D. Roger L. Boevé Charles F. Bryan Jr., Ph.D. Elizabeth Whalley Buono, J.D. George W. Burke III, M.D. Charles M. Caravati Jr., M.D. Herbert A. Claiborne III, J.D. Richard M. Clary, M.D. Judith B. Collins, W.H.N.P. William D. Covington, D.D.S. Charles F. Crone George P. Emerson Jr. William M. Ginther Jeffrey H. Gumenick L. Preston Hale, R.Ph. JoAnne K. Henry, Ed.D. Basil Leonard Hurst III Darius A. Johnson Gail W. Johnson, R.N. Lee B. Krumbein David A. Lyons John W. Martin Ronald H. McFarlane, R.Ph. J. Keith Middleton, CPA H. Frederick T. Moore Robert F. Norfleet Jr. Rebecca T. Perdue John F. Philips, D.D.S. Ghulam D. Qureshi, M.D. James H. Revere Jr., D.D.S. Bertha C. Rolfe, R.Ph. John W. Slyh, CPA T.K. Somanath Ellen E. Spong James H. Starkey, III Kit T. Sullivan, D.D.S. Joseph M. Teefey Harry R. Thalhimer George W. Vetrovec, M.D. Richard P. Wenzel, M.D., M.Sc. Michelle Y. Whitehurst-Cook, M.D. Judith Forehand Woods Harold F. Young, M.D.


Dear Friends of the MCV Foundation:

Ex Officio Members: Michael Rao, Ph.D. President of VCU Marsha D. Rappley, M.D. Chief Executive Officer, VCU Health System & Vice President, VCU Health Sciences

Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016



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Ken Wright Makes a Transformational $16 Million Gift 1: Richard Grier, Judy Collins and Ken Wright enjoy catching up during the reception at The Jefferson Hotel. 2: VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., thanks Ken Wright for his generous support. 3: Gail Johnson presents Ken Wright with a framed copy of the article announcing his gift. Event photos: Kevin Schindler

Mr. Ken Wright and his late wife Dianne have been longtime supporters of VCU. Since 1999, they created scholarships and professorships, donated property that became the home of the VCU Brandcenter and helped fund an expansion of the School of Engineering. The couple became aware of the excellent quality of medical care at the MCV Campus after Dianne was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After her experience as a patient, Dianne became a strong advocate of the Massey Cancer Center and contributed more than $5 million through her own estate. After Dianne’s passing in October 2014, Ken sought a way to appropriately honor Dianne and her legacy. “I wanted to express our sincere gratitude for the care Dianne received,” said Wright. “I know that she would be so pleased about this gift and the impact it will have across VCU and the MCV Campus.” The $16 million endowment, the fifth-largest single gift in the university’s history, will name the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research at VCU. $12 million will be used to establish six C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chairs in Clinical and Translational Research, initially focused on discoveries within the Massey Cancer Center and Pauley Heart Center. $4 million will launch the C. Kenneth


Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016

and Dianne Wright Physician-Scientist Scholars Program, which will provide tuition and stipends for M.D.–Ph.D. candidates in the VCU School of Medicine. “Mr. Wright’s gift will help accelerate the research at CCTR and assist us in our mission to build academic bridges across departments at VCU. We advance discoveries from the bench to the bedside to improve medical care and ultimately save lives,” said Gerard Moeller, M.D., director of CCTR. “The Wrights came to VCU with a big vision, a strong resolve to accomplish that vision, and a deep commitment to using their talents and resources to change the world,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “Dianne and Ken have forever changed our great university. This gift is poised to do the same for the CCTR. It will be thrilling to see what discoveries and breakthroughs will be made as a result of the extra emphasis on translational research this gift will allow.” VCU is one of only a handful of universities with a translational research center that’s been named by a donor. The gift will be paid out over five years, beginning this summer. “I’m grateful for the many years of service of my longtime assistant, Audrey Pape, who now serves as president of the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Foundation,” said Wright. “Audrey will play an important role in executing this endowment and carrying on my foundation’s philanthropic intentions.”

MCV Foundation Financials Medical College of Virginia Foundation Statement of Financial Position


For the year ended June 30, 2015 Amounts in thousands

Operating pooled investments Cash and cash equivalents $ 9,061 Long-term investments 54,413 Total operating pooled investments


Managed portfolio pooled investments


Agency assets


Other assets

23,128 Total Assets: $ 490,076

Liabilities and Net Assets Liabilities Debt service obligations Accounts payable Obligation under split-interest agreements Agency liabilities

$ 7,975 592 2,122 1,294

Total liabilities: $ 11,983

Net Assets Donor restricted Temporarily Permanently Unrestricted Board designated Other

$ 236,073 184,755 33,603 23,662 Total net assets: $ 478,093

Total Liabilities and Net Assets: $ 490,076

Medical College of Virginia Foundation Financial Highlights Total Assets (in millions)

For the year ended June 30, 2015 Amounts in thousands











Program Disbursements (in millions) 2011










Disbursements Totaling $29.9 million by Program

75.8% 15.3% 7.9% 0.6% 0.4%

Education, research and general Faculty salaries and support Scholarships and awards Other program services Indigent patient care

This is a condensed version of the financial statements submitted to the MCV Foundation. Our independent auditor issued an Unmodified Opinion on the complete financial statements, which can be obtained by writing or calling the MCV Foundation office. Chronicle ChronicleofofGiving Giving Spring Summer 20162015



MCV Foundation Welcomes New e sat down with new MCV Foundation President Margaret Ann Bollmeier to learn more about her and her plans for the organization. You’ve had a long career in philanthropy. Tell us about your background and what was it that attracted you to the field? Margaret Ann: I grew up in Texas and came to Virginia

to attend Washington & Lee University School of Law. I really fell in love with Virginia during that time, and even though I went back to Texas to practice law, I always dreamed of moving back here. I had decided to become a lawyer when I was 8. I practiced law for three years, but I found I wasn’t doing the kind of work I wanted to do, with a real connection to the greater community. I wanted to see the direct benefit to people in the community. What I found in philanthropy and fundraising was the opportunity to be an advocate and work for something I really believed in.

Photo: Adam Ewing

How did your career bring you to Virginia? Margaret Ann: I’ve had a long history with Virginia. After

being in fundraising for several years, I moved to Charlottesville to work as director of development with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, an affiliate of the University of Virginia. I was recruited to Seattle to be the president and CEO of Humanities Washington; however, I later returned to Virginia to become the executive director of the Curry School of Education Foundation at UVA. While at UVA, I spent a fair amount of time in Richmond and always enjoyed it. It’s a vibrant and exciting city, and I’m really happy to be here.

Tell us more about your previous experience in fundraising. Margaret Ann: I’ve worked at three universities that have

been in three of the eight largest capital campaigns of any university. I have been with all of those campaigns heading up fundraising for a specific college, so I bring both the fundraising and institutional experience. I’ve spent 16 of the last 25 years leading fundraising and operations for the foundation or college development and alumni relations department, and I’ve also had the experience of working closely with boards and building relationships in the community.

What excited you about this position at the MCV Foundation? Margaret Ann: MCV has an absolutely stellar reputation as Dean Jean Giddens, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and Margaret Ann attend a reception at The Jefferson Hotel honoring Ken Wright for his generous gift. Photo: Kevin Schindler


Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016

one of the leaders in the medical field statewide and regionally. Our hospital is ranked No. 1 in Virginia by U.S. News and World Report. Our nursing team has won national recognition, and we can find stories of excellence within every division here. I just attended the Trauma Center’s Shining Knight Gala, which highlighted just one of VCU’s areas of expertise: its Level I trauma

MCV Campus News

President Margaret Ann Bollmeier center. They help over 4,000 trauma patients every year. It’s an incredibly important and prestigious academic health system. I’m also excited to return to healthcare philanthropy. I previously served as the director of gift planning and major gifts at Providence Medical Center Foundation in Seattle, and raised money to establish their comprehensive breast care center. What’s so rewarding in healthcare philanthropy is that we’re doing something that helps everyone. Here at MCV, we’re trying to make health and wellness possible for every person, and we’re on the cutting edge of healthcare and translational research to overcome diseases. Another component that attracted me to this role was the MCV Foundation board, which really is a model board. So many nonprofit organizations work hard to engage their board members, and we have a highly engaged board that is very committed to this organization and willing to do whatever they can to advance MCV and its partners.

What is your vision for the MCV Foundation over the next few years? Margaret Ann: I want to raise the profile of this organization

and our MCV Campus partners in the community and increase awareness around philanthropy and the mission of VCU Health. Part of what I’ll be focused on is our organization’s expanded mission to support the fundraising efforts as well as investing and stewarding gifts for our partners. We’ll be carving out our role in a way that complements and enhances the work of our MCV Campus partners. One of our strengths is that we don’t raise money for our own organization, so there’s no competition. We only raise money for the seven units that we serve.

Margaret Ann serves as master of ceremonies at the MCV Campus Endowed Scholarship Brunch. Photo: CSI Studios

The MCV Foundation has a critical role in our community as healthcare is going to become increasingly important in the current demographic environment. The good news is people are living longer, but they may face diseases during the aging process. We want to be in a position to help them overcome that. When you think about what a community needs, health is something we all need. It’s something that is fundamental to our enjoyment and having a fulfilling life. We’re at a tipping point as our society ages, and there’s a real opportunity to do something good for the community.

When not at the MCV Foundation, what do you enjoy doing? Margaret Ann: My husband and I have two teenage

daughters, as well as two dogs and two cats, and I really enjoy time with my family. I’m a bit of a foodie, and I’ve always appreciated the arts and history. Richmond is a great community where we can enjoy all three. I’m at the seat of history here, and I hope to achieve historic results with the MCV Foundation.

Alex Henley Joins MCV Foundation as Director of Marketing Communications The MCV Foundation welcomed Alex Henley as its first director of marketing communications in January. In this role, Alex will be responsible for planning and implementing the MCV Foundation’s overall marketing communications strategy, which includes managing the brand, advertising and public relations campaigns, developing digital and print publications, and managing the website and social media strategy. Alex brings more than 15 years of marketing and communications experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Most recently, Alex was the social media and publications manager at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, marketing the Commonwealth of Virginia as a premier location for businesses. Her previous experience includes serving as marketing communications manager at ITT Corp. and other

communications roles at Fortune 500 companies Microsoft Corp. and Wachovia Securities. A long-time Richmond transplant from the northeast, she began her career at a local private equity firm. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in business/economics from Wheaton College. When not marketing the MCV Foundation, she enjoys running and exploring the Richmond restaurant and cultural scene.   

Photo: University Relations

Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016


A Conversation with Dr. Marsha Rappley


Photo: University Relations

Dr. Marsha Rappley joined the VCU team as vice president for health sciences and CEO of the VCU Health System in August. She brings a wealth of experience as a national academic leader in medicine. Most recently, she served as dean of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where NIH and other federal research funding doubled during her 10-year term. Dr. Rappley brings a unique medical perspective, having served as both a nurse and a doctor. She began her career as a nurse’s aide and rose through the ranks as a licensed practical nurse, associate’s degree nurse and bachelor’s degree nurse. “Studying nursing at a young age helped the patient-centered approach come naturally to me,” said Dr. Rappley. “Performing tasks as basic as laundry, preparing people’s food and changing bed linens helped me understand how every need must be addressed for a patient to feel safe, comfortable and cared for. That was deeply engrained in me and stayed with me throughout my career.” Dr. Rappley went back to medical school and chose the field of pediatrics due, in part, to her own early childhood experience. “My sister was critically ill for the first three years of her life and spent her first year in the Children’s Hospital of Detroit,” remarked Dr. Rappley. “I was 6 years old at the time and participated a lot in her care. It was gratifying for me to be able to help, rather than just watch her suffer. That never left me — the feeling of being able to help a child through something difficult.” Dr. Rappley’s personal experience continues to shape her view of the medical field. “I survived lung cancer and my father lives an active life at the age of almost 89. We would not be alive today if it had not been for advances in science that moved the bar to allow us to have these full lives. These are real bench-to-bedside stories that my family and a lot of families experience. That’s why we need to keep investing in lab work, because that’s where the


Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016

seeds are planted for these advances. We need to keep that discovery chain growing.” Dr. Rappley has big plans for the MCV Campus and the VCU Health System. “10 years from now when people think of the great medical centers of the Eastern Seaboard, Richmond and VCU will be in their minds.” “We have an obligation to maintain that kind of prominence because of our mission to preserve and restore health for all people. We aim to approach the problem of the underserved with such quality and commitment that we attract all people, regardless of their ability to pay. Most places think about offering a certain kind of care for the underserved, but that’s not how we frame it. We perform the highest quality of service and our doors are open to everyone. As a result, people seek us out from all walks of life, including the most advantaged.” To be one of the premier medical centers in the country will require some planning and changes. Dr. Rappley noted, “Our facilities need to represent the quality of care that we provide, and the quality of experience that our patients deserve. We are looking at replacing some older facilities and improving our footprint and layout so that we become a place that’s not just a cluster of buildings, but where the buildings are purposefully related to one another. We want to enhance the patient experience, and that includes better parking and traffic flow.” “Every day I come to work I experience the frustration around parking and access to buildings because my office is at the point where all the traffic converges for the medical center. We’re going to be changing that. I understand how difficult it is for our patients to drive to their appointments and visit family members in the hospital, so I’m very keen to make these improvements. We have a specific plan to separate traffic flow for inpatient and outpatient experiences, provide parking where it is needed, and offer pedestrian walkways and landscaping so that people will want to visit this place. That’s part of being one of the great medical centers of the Eastern Seaboard.” “The pre-eminent medical centers of the future are being built now. We have to be building to that future. We need to be projecting what kind of inpatient and outpatient experience our patients will need 10 and 20 years from now. We know that more care will be offered in an outpatient setting, and inpatient care will focus on technologically advanced and highly complicated diagnoses and treatments. As a quaternary care center, we are positioned for that and we deliver that kind of care now.” “We also understand that the line between child and adult care is blurring. The needs of children are becoming more complicated as they survive childhood and take those health conditions with them into adulthood. We recognize a developmental continuum that many of the diseases which present in adulthood begin in childhood. For our campus layout, proximities are vital in terms of research, education and services available to patients. continued That is the future we are designing toward.”

MCV Campus News The MCV Foundation will have an important role in helping to build this future. Dr. Rappley noted, “People think the Foundation was established to manage dollars, but it’s much more than that. It’s a steward of the generosity of generations of people, and it’s a steward of those philanthropic values. That’s an important part of who we are. We may not be able to operate the same way we did 20 years ago, but we have the same set of values

and the same focus on our mission, and we will take that into the next 50 years.” “I’m extremely excited to be here. I find Richmond to be an enormously welcoming community. My father and I have been very happy here, and I am moved by the generosity of the people of Richmond and their support of our children, our elderly and our mission.”

Helen Shaw Birch Bequest Provides Nursing Scholarships Helen Shaw Birch was a graduate of the VCU School of Nursing, class of 1947, and enjoyed a career working closely with patients as a surgical assistant and glaucoma screening nurse. As part of her legacy, she planned a $1 million gift that will be used for endowed scholarships in the VCU School of Nursing. Scholarship recipients will be selected at the discretion of the scholarship committee. “We’re deeply grateful to receive such an extraordinary gift to support our efforts to provide more student scholarships,” said Jean Giddens, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, dean and professor, the Doris B. Yingling Endowed Chair. “Our school is fortunate that Helen Birch felt inspired to invest in educating new nurses and increasing knowledge among clinicians and researchers seeking to improve health care.”

The VCU School of Nursing held a vesting ceremony in September for the Accelerated B.S. Class of 2016. The vesting ceremony has replaced the school’s white coat ceremony to be in alignment with the “bare below the elbows” movement in the health care environment. Photo: Courtesy of VCU School of Nursing.

Leave Your Legacy Plan for your future while helping to plan for the MCV Campus’ future. The generosity of planned giving donors strengthens opportunities for our students, faculty and programs. The MCV Foundation staff can help you determine the best vehicles to meet your financial needs and make a lasting impact on the MCV Campus. The MCV Society recognizes those who have invested in the medical campus and have realized the important legacy a planned gift creates. Gifts may benefit particular schools, units and programs, and may be designated for special purposes, such as scholarships or chairs. Gifts made from donors’ estates make possible a medical education for students who otherwise could not have attended this great institution. These gifts help the institutions on the MCV Campus to recruit the most talented faculty members, establish programs, fund research and amazing discoveries, cure patients and construct buildings. More and more donors are augmenting their legacies by adding the MCV Campus to their estate plans. To learn more about how you can make a planned gift to the MCV Foundation, please contact Brian S. Thomas, vice president and chief development officer, at (804) 828-0067 or

Top: Brian Thomas, Wyatt Beazley III, M.D., and Richard Clary, M.D., reconnect at a recent MCV Society event. Bottom: MCV Society members Ken Wright, Alan Schallow, Janice Schalow and Bertha Rolfe enjoy the spring weather at an MCV Society event. Photos: CSI Studios

Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016


MCV Campus News

MCV Foundation and VCU Pauley Heart Center Honor Dr. George Vetrovec After 39 years of dedicated service in cardiology, George Vetrovec, M.D., announced his retirement. The MCV Foundation and Pauley Heart Center were pleased to honor Dr. Vetrovec at a reception this fall at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, where more than 120 colleagues, friends and patients came out to honor him as a physician, fundraiser, academic leader and educator. Dr. Vetrovec has been on the MCV Campus since his residency, and he has been a member of the faculty since 1976. He served as chairman of the Division of Cardiology from 1991 to 2009 and director of the Pauley Heart Center Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory since 1977. Dr. Vetrovec has been actively engaged in philanthropy throughout his career. He led two fundraising campaigns that secured more than $14 million in donations for the heart center. He has also served on the MCV Foundation board for four terms, participating in the development and communications committees. In recognition of his service, he received our first W. Robert Irby Philanthropic Leadership Award. “We’re fortunate to have a board member like Dr. Vetrovec, who offered tremendous insight as a faculty member and prominent physician in the community,” said Margaret Ann Bollmeier, MCV Foundation president. “He has had an extraordinary impact at the Foundation as an accomplished fundraiser who helped secure substantial donations for campus priorities, such as the Pauley Heart Center.” At the reception, Jeff Marshall, M.D., a former student of Dr. Vetrovec, announced that the Division of Cardiology had created the George W. Vetrovec, M.D., Symposium to honor his outstanding and continued commitment to cardiovascular education. Dr. Vetrovec’s passion for education will continue into his retirement — he plans to spend one to two days per month mentoring residents and fellows in the Division of Cardiology.




1: Former VCU President Eugene Trani, Ph.D., congratulates George Vetrovec, M.D., during the reception. 2: Ken Ellenbogen, M.D., George Vetrovec, M.D., and President Michael Rao, Ph.D., enjoy the celebration. 3: MCV Foundation Board Chair Gail Johnson and Mary E. Vetrovec celebrate the legacy of Dr. Vetrovec. Photos: Kevin Schindler

Sandra Starkey’s Legacy Honored With Gift to the VCU MCV Foundation board member Jim Starkey recently made a $500,000 gift to establish the Sandra Lee Starkey Endowed Fund for Pilot Project and Clinical Trial Cancer Research to honor the memory of his wife. This gift qualifies for a match by the VCU Glasgow Endowment, making the total impact of the gift $1 million. “Sandra had a form of cancer for which the only possible cure was a bone marrow transplant,” said Jim Starkey. “She made it through the transplant, but developed graft-versus-host disease. We had talked about making a gift to the Bone Marrow


Chronicle of Giving Spring 2016

Gordon Ginder, M.D., director of VCU Massey Cancer Center, and Jim Starkey discuss the latest in cancer research at Dr. Ginder’s lab. Photo: Kevin Schindler

Discovery Series Continues to Grow The MCV Foundation hosted two Discovery Series events last fall in Williamsburg. In September, a panel of VCU Medical Center physicians addressed the topic, “Healthy Aging.” VCU School of Medicine Dean Jerry Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., led a faculty panel to examine the critical factors that contribute to living longer and better, as well as advances in research and their impact on improving quality of life. More than 170 guests attended this event at the Two Rivers Country Club. In November, the Discovery Series event was held in the School of Business at the College of William & Mary. VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and the College of William & Mary President Taylor Reveley welcomed the 200 guests who attended this event on the topic of “Precision Medicine: Your Genes, Your Care, Your Cure.” Precision medicine, also referred to as personalized medicine, is the science of tailoring health recommendations and treatment plans based on individual patient characteristics. It relies heavily on the use of molecular data to decide the best therapeutic agents for disease management. The MCV Foundation is pleased to work with a group of dedicated volunteers who serve on the Discovery Series Host Committee in Williamsburg. Members of the Host Committee include Julie Baxter and Paul Dresser, Louise and Bob Canfield, Ginny and Charles Crone, Jane and Jim Kaplan, and Judi Woods. Since its launch in November 2013, VCU Medical Center has received more than 120 new patient referrals as a direct result of the Discovery Series. During the November event, the MCV Foundation rolled out the Discovery Society. Members of the Discovery Society share a commitment to raising the visibility of the VCU Medical Center and fostering financial support that helps sustain excellence in clinical research and patient care that has been the hallmark of the MCV Campus. The Discovery Society provides a meaningful way for members to engage in dialogue about quality health care and provides access to the exciting work occurring at VCU Medical Center through panel discussions, tours and special events. To learn more about becoming a member, contact Brian Thomas at or 804-828-0067.

Massey Cancer Center Transplant Unit at Massey. While we were there, everyone was involved — the nurses were very caring and it was an impressive operation.” The gift will be directed toward cutting-edge research that will benefit Massey Cancer Center’s bone marrow transplantation program. In particular, it will be used for pilot studies and clinical trials that show the greatest promise to prevent graft-versus-host disease and veno-occlusive disease. It will also be used to provide educational opportunities for the nurses within the bone marrow transplant unit. “My hope with this gift is to honor Sandra’s memory and save other patients and their families from the devastating effects of cancer,” said Starkey. “It’s one of the most difficult diseases to cure, and it takes far too many people far too young.”




1: Jim Kaplan, William & Mary President Taylor Reveley and VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D., attend the reception following the educational program. 2: Lou and Roberta Nucci are greeted by Harry Thalhimer before the panel discussion. 3: The faculty panel discusses precision medicine during the November Discovery Series program in Williamsburg. Photos: Bardrof Imaging LLC

Correction on Behalf of our Friends at VCU Massey Cancer Center

Our colleagues who publish the Massey Cancer Center’s Philanthropic Review asked us to share a correction to their 2014-2015 printed publication, since our audience overlaps. They are honored to recognize the Children’s Hospital Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research and deeply regret the incorrect listing. The online version of Philanthropic Review has been corrected.

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage P.O. Box 980234 Richmond, Virginia 23298-0234


Permit No. 1182 Richmond, Virginia

Chronicle of Giving | Spring 2016  

Medical College of Virginia Foundation Chronicle of Giving