UMDNJ’s Annual Fund: How Money Counts
hanks to the X Box Kinect, patients at Broadway House for Continuing Care in Newark are dancing, boxing, bowling, running and jumping in track and field events, and playing soccer, beach volleyball and table tennis, rather than dozing in front of the TV. Their stamina, strength and mobility are certainly on the rise, and their happiness is, too. That’s very important here — at New Jersey’s only residential special care facility for people living with AIDS. Dollars from UMDNJ’s Annual Fund — Moving Forward by Giving Back — made it possible.
“The beauty of this new technology is that you don’t need to hold controllers or push buttons, which some patients can not manage. The technology senses your body movements,” explains Broadway House President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Gonzalez, MPH, FACHE, who purchased the equipment with a small fraction of their $30,000 award.
Several computers with large screens to link patients to the Internet — replacing “our dinosaurs”— and continuing education courses to keep staff up-to-date will all be underwritten with this funding, he says.
In December, the Foundation of UMDNJ implemented a Challenge Match — offering to match gifts from UMDNJ’s faculty and staff to the annual fund dollar-for-dollar up to $125,000 and providing another $125,000 dollar-for-dollar match for gifts given to the annual fund by the UMDNJ and Foundation Boards and senior leadership. Contributions can be designated to a specific UMDNJ school, for University Hospital, University Behavioral HealthCare, Broadway House or wherever the need is greatest.
“If anyone offers to double your money, it’s not a hard sell,” says Gonzalez laughing. “This program is terrific.”
Another example of how annual fund dollars are impacting UMDNJ life in a positive way is the Cardiovascular Institute of New Jersey at RWJMS. Annual fund donations will support the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment on the Institute’s wish list for the electrophysiology lab, acute cardiac lab, echocardiography lab, exercise physiology lab, or cardiac electrophysiology lab, or perhaps a 128 spiral slice CT. All of these will advance the Institute’s mission to improve heart health.
And there’s more. Among other challenge match winners: UBHC will be able to expand the Vet2Vet helpline. SPH is converting a seminar room into a sorely needed student lounge. Physician/patient meeting rooms at University Hospital have been refurbished and the Rosemary Gellene Alumni Room at NJMS received a long-delayed face lift.
The “window of opportunity” is still wide open. If you would like to support community, research and student- oriented projects at UMDNJ, please return the envelope with your donation or go to annualfund.umdnj.edu/ and complete the online form.