Mount Sinai’s National Palliative Care Centers Receive Transformative $10M Gift
In March 2014, Philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker made a landmark $10 million gift to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to expand its national programs in palliative care. The gift has the potential to transform the care of seriously ill patients and their families by funding a new center to support public policy, education, training, national outreach and research.
The new center, named The Patty and Jay Baker National Palliative Care Center at Mount Sinai, unites under one umbrella Mount Sinai’s existing National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) and the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC), creating greater opportunities for innovation and collaboration. The center is jointly led by Diane E. Meier, MD, Director of CAPC, and by R. Sean Morrison, MD, Director of the NPCRC and of Mount Sinai’s Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute.
“The mission of the center is to ensure that all patients living with serious illness and their families understand the role of palliative care in improving quality of life, and that they are aware that they can request it; that all clinicians have the knowledge and skills to provide palliative care; and that all healthcare institutions are equipped to deliver it,” states Dr. Morrison.
Palliative care is a new and rapidly growing field that is proven to improve quality of life and help patients and families get the information and support they need over the course of an illness. CAPC and NPCRC have together led the growth in access to quality palliative care in the United States. The number of palliative care programs in United States hospitals has more than tripled in the last 10 years.
“We will be able to bring this innovation fully to scale thanks to the Bakers’ generosity and insight,” says Dr. Meier. “The donation will also help to increase the public’s awareness of the important role of palliative care in relieving worry and distress for patients and families of all ages and at any stage of illness. It is important that patients and caregivers are aware of the power and control they have to request palliative care support.”
Jay Baker, former President of Kohl’s Corporation, and his wife Patty, a noted Broadway theater producer, have a close personal connection to palliative care as Mr. Baker’s sister was cared for at The Mount Sinai Hospital by the Palliative Care team. “The care and compassion provided to my sister made all the difference in her survival and quality of life, and we are so grateful,” said Mr. Baker.