This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.
This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.
Saxon/Hart, New York City’s first cause marketing alliance, is proud to co-sponsor two days of beauty and renewal for fifteen special women, all of whom have battled breast cancer before the age of 40 and survived. As a part of the ongoing #BLANKCANCER awareness campaign, the ladies – patients at The Dubin Breast Center of The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai – will be treated to a day of beauty, pampering and makeovers.
Taking place on March 20th and 21st, the event is being co-sponsored and hosted at The Red Door Spa, located in Union Square, NYC. Services provided will include wig styling, haircuts, coloring and manicures.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Among the fifteen women that will be participating, all have undergone breast cancer treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Alexandra Russo, social worker at The Dubin Breast Center and group facilitator for the Young Women Connect Support Group, shares her excitement, stating, “These young women have endured many changes and losses through treatment and are eager to move towards regaining their sense of self, especially when it comes to body image. I know they are so appreciate of what’s sure to be a fun, restorative day of pampering.”
The #BlankCancer campaign aims to bring awareness to all cancers through a unique, interactive social media initiative, supported by makeover events like these. Participants can easily join the cause by printing a sign at www.saxonhart.com, filling in the blank – telling the world what they’d like to do to cancer – taking a selfie and sharing across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Each month, we honor and recognize different cancer fighters and survivors, in an effort to bring awareness to the cause. Our goal through the #BLANKCANCER campaign is to show that we are all in this fight together. We’re excited to honor these outstanding women, by helping them to see how beautiful they are both inside and out” says Heidi Burkhart, president of Saxon/Hart.
New Report on Lifeline to Vulnerable Communities
Oakland, Calif. – March 19, 2015 – As demands increase on Black-led nonprofit organizations to provide vital help to low-and-moderate-income communities, the resources and capabilities of those organizations have not kept pace.
That is the conclusion of a new report released by the Bay Area Black United Fund (BABUF), which develops strategies for uplifting and empowering Black communities throughout the Bay Area. According to BABUF, the report is especially important to the Bay Area because the nonprofit sector plays such a large role in the region’s economy.
The report, Black-Led Organizations in the Bay Area: From Crisis to Change, highlights the precarious state of many Black-led organizations (registered nonprofit organizations with Black staff and/or Board leadership) in the Bay Area, and proposes concrete solutions for sustaining these critical institutions.
“In the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008, Black families lost nearly 54% of their wealth, manifested by the loss of homes, jobs and consequences to entire neighborhoods,” said Duane Poe, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bay Area Black United Fund. “We must take action now to ensure that vital services to the Bay Area’s low-and-moderate-income communities are preserved by strengthening the nonprofit organizations that address the needs of these communities.”
The report – based on an online survey to which 71 Bay Area organizations responded and two focus groups of 20 nonprofit executives – identifies challenges similar to those of many nonprofits in many locations: limited financial resources, small staff, inadequate planning and marketing, and only basic program evaluation.
Unique, though, is the report’s recommendation that the solution for Black-led nonprofits is a multi-year, collective effort organized by the Bay Area Black United Fund to provide access to increased resources, advice, coaching, training, and succession planning for nonprofit leaders.
“The way this is going to change, the way nonprofit organizations serving vulnerable communities will become more sustainable,” said East Bay Community Foundation President & CEO James W. Head, a member of the BABUF working group that managed the study, “is through these very organizations working together, not separately, in a concentrated, funded, collective effort. The effort must provide new tools and resources, as well as increased efficiency by sharing common administrative and support services, such as office space, financial accounting, and other functions.”
At the same time, Bay Area Black-led organizations tend to be mature, anchor institutions serving the most vulnerable populations with committed and passionate leaders and Boards.
“The role and need of Black-led organizations is inescapable. Historically, Black-led organizations and leaders, closest to communities, have ensured that communities most impacted by inequities had a voice in defining solutions, developing policies and changing unjust institutional practices” said Sandra Davis, Program Manager for The California Endowment. “Today, Black children are disproportionately disciplined and pushed out of schools, racially profiled, unemployed, locked up and killed. Inequities are as stark as ever. California’s future is tied to the life course of these children, and the Black-led institutions with the deepest credibility to serve, advocate and organize in these communities.”
According to the report, 32% of the leaders responding to the survey have been at the helm of their organizations for more than 10 years and 63% are contemplating an exit within the next five years. A critical issue is the lack of a leadership pipeline to fill these future gaps.
Leaders of Black-led organizations cited the three most critical resources needed for success: additional revenue to support growth; best-in-class organizational systems and training; and leadership development for Boards and staff.
This report helps make the case for longer-term, strategic and culturally appropriate investments in building the capacity of BLOs in the Bay Area. A comprehensive field-building model is paramount to move Bay Area BLO’s from crisis to change. A field-building model should include strategies to stabilize, grow and sustain these important organizations through: multi-year core support; assistance creating and building social enterprises and reserves; technology upgrades; learning and networking opportunities; and, mentoring and leadership development pipelines.
The research was supported by grants from The California Endowment, The Kapor Center for Social Impact, The San Francisco Foundation and The Y&H Soda Foundation and led by a working group that also included representatives of the Bay Area Black United Fund, The Brotherhood of Elders and The East Bay Community Foundation.
The Bay Area Black United Fund (BABUF; www.babuf.org) is a nonprofit regional intermediary located in Oakland, California. After 35 years, BABUF remains a conduit of transformational change and community impact and has a renewed purpose and strategies for uplifting and elevating Black communities. BABUF is a bridge between community-based organizations and donors aimed at increasing support for and strengths of organizations serving vulnerable communities.
Hospital and Outpatient Centers Adopt New Name in Honor of $60 Million Pledge from Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation
MIAMI – Originally founded as Variety Children’s Hospital in 1950, Miami Children’s Hospital today unveiled a logo featuring its new Nicklaus Children’s Hospital name, during a press conference with golf icon Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara. The new name will be effective tomorrow, March 20, on the hospital’s 65th anniversary. In addition, the hospital’s eight outpatient centers will also assume the Nicklaus name.
“We are deeply honored that our name will be associated with a healthcare organization that so many know and trust throughout the world,” said Jack and Barbara Nicklaus in a joint statement. “Children are our region’s most precious and vulnerable resource. We have heeded a call to make a difference for all children in need and have found a worthy partner in Miami Children’s Health System. The organization shares our passion and commitment to care excellence. We are delighted that we are further united in our common purpose.”
The name change is in recognition of a $60 million pledge from the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation to the Miami Children’s Health System. The Miami Children’s Health Foundation, which raises funds for the health system, is currently in the midst of its Together for the Children Campaign, aimed at raising $150 million by 2017.
Dr. Narendra Kini, President and CEO of Miami Children’s Health System, said, “The 65th anniversary celebration presents a perfect opportunity to treasure our past and embrace a new name and future for our hospital and outpatient centers. We are the same great nonprofit network of healthcare facilities for children made stronger by the generous philanthropic support of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. Tomorrow, we will host a celebration for our employees in honor of our milestone anniversary and this new chapter in our long and proud shared history.”
In addition to the pledge, the Nicklauses will also serve as the chairs of the Together for the Children Campaign and will spearhead fundraising efforts to support major enhancements for the hospital, including supporting construction of the planned 212,000-square-foot Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, now in progress. This new facility will include provisions for three new family-centered intensive care units. Funds will also support emergency and trauma preparedness, and enhance globally recognized centers for excellence at the hospital.
“We are truly grateful for Jack and Barbara’s long-term commitment and generosity to our mission of providing health and happiness to children everywhere,” said Lucy Morillo, President and CEO of Miami Children’s Health Foundation. “As chairs of the Together for The Children campaign, they will help us ensure that we not only reach our $150 million goal, but hopefully exceed it.”
Miami Children’s Health System, the parent organization for the hospital, outpatient centers, foundation and other entities, will retain its name, as will Miami Children’s Health Foundation. The hospital and its network of facilities will embrace new names as follows:
The outpatient centers offer a variety of pediatric services. Most offer after-hours urgent care services (with the exception of the Dan Marino facility in Weston) as well as pediatric rehabilitation services, imaging services and subspecialty medical appointments.
The hospital will host its 65th anniversary celebration tomorrow, March 20 and it encourages the community to participate in the celebration by sharing how the hospital has touched their lives. Submissions can be made through social media by visiting www.365Reasons.org.
About the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation
Jack and Barbara Nicklaus founded the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation in 2004, in an effort to provide families access to world-class pediatric healthcare in their own communities. The Foundation has grown from a vision to reality, supporting innovative programs focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood illnesses. For more information about the Foundation, please visit nchcf.org
About Nicklaus Children’s Hospital
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital® – formerly Miami Children’s Hospital-is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with several specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014-15 by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor. For more information, visit www.mch.com
About Miami Children’s Health System
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital – formerly Miami Children’s Hospital-is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric sub-specialists. The 289-bed nonprofit hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine and routinely has many programs ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report. The organization has grown and evolved into the Miami Children’s Health System (MCHS) which includes Miami Children’s Health Foundation, the organization’s 501c3 fundraising arm; a network of eight nonprofit outpatient centers situated in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties; Pediatric Specialty Group, Inc., a nonprofit physician practice subsidiary; a management services organization, and an ambulatory surgery center (opening soon), as well as an e-commerce line of children’s wellness and safety products that support the hospital’s mission of serving the region’s pediatric population. MCHS is the region’s only healthcare system exclusively for children.
About Miami Children’s Health Foundation
Miami Children’s Health Foundation (MCH Foundation) is a not-for profit 501(c)(3) established to create a world-class pediatric hospital so no child needs to leave South Florida for superior medical care. “Funding World-Class Care” and following the principle that all children deserve state-of-the-art pediatric care with no financial boundaries, MCH Foundation, now a part of the newly-formed Miami Children’s Health System, has helped the 289-bed Miami Children’s Hospital become a leader in pediatric healthcare with more than 40 subspecialties, the largest pediatric neurology center in the United States, a top provider of cardiology and neonatology services, and a Research Institute conducting in excess of 200 clinical trials and protocols. Currently, MCH Foundation is dedicating all its resources to Together For The Children, The Campaign For Miami Children’s Hospital, which aims to raise $150 million by 2017 and will help fund MCH priorities, including the expansion and enhancement of the Emergency Department, as well as the construction of a new Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion, and expanding its Global/Telehealth endeavors.
Projects in California, Connecticut, and Wisconsin to focus on racial disparities in child welfare and juvenile justice
WASHINGTON, DC — TODAY the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), a grantee of the Social Innovation Fund’s Pay for Success program, announced projects in three states to assess feasibility and develop Pay for Success capacity. Three projects will receive technical assistance from NCCD for up to two years: YouthStat, a program of the City of New Haven, Connecticut; Alternatives to Detention and Placement, a program of the San Diego nonprofit the Children’s Initiative; and One Summer Plus, a program of Milwaukee’s nonprofit Community Advocates Public Policy Institute.
“NCCD strongly believes that Pay for Success creates a real possibility for sustained, positive change in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems,” said Kathy Park, acting president of NCCD. “We are proud to work with these three extremely dynamic programs to see if this innovative financing will work for them.”
In October, NCCD received $863,959 in investments from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) Social Innovation Fund (SIF). As part of the SIF’s Pay for Success Initiative, NCCD is helping strengthen the pipeline of state and local governments and service providers prepared to implement Pay for Success projects across the country.
“The SIF Pay for Success grantees held highly competitive, open competitions to select communities in need of services and here we’re seeing the results of those competitions,” said Lois Nembhard, acting director of the Social Innovation Fund. “We couldn’t be more enthusiastic for NCCD and their selection of programs, all charged with the important mission to measurably improve the lives of people most in need.”
The Social Innovation Fund and its non-federal partners have committed to investing more than $700 million in effective community solutions. NCCD’s project aims to assess feasibility and develop Pay for Success capacity in jurisdictions from the states with the highest rates of racial and ethnic disparities in these systems. NCCD released a request for proposals in December for programs in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, DC, and Wisconsin.
“We received competitive proposals from states across the country,” said Deirdre O’Connor, senior program specialist at NCCD. “Through careful review and discussion, we selected our final three programs. We look forward to working with each to bring them one step closer to successfully implementing the Pay for Success model.”
About New Haven’s YouthStat Program
This initiative brings together city departments, the Board of Education, state agencies and community groups to identify and evaluate at-risk adolescents, and then intervene and intercept as necessary with personalized action plans to engage the youth and provide positive options. Youth Stat utilizes a strengths-based approach and provides each participating youth with a support team, an individualized Success Action Plan, an adult mentor, academic support, after school or jobs skills programming, and access to mental health and basic need services.
About The Children’s Initiative
The Children’s Initiative provides leadership, technical assistance, advocacy and cross-system collaboration to improve the lives of children and families. The Children’s Initiative works to assist government, schools and community organizations in being more efficient, increasing investment in prevention and intervention programs, maximizing dollars for direct services in communities, reducing violence and crime, and increasing academic success for our children and youth. For more information about The Children’s Initiative, visit www.thechildrensinitiative.org.
About Community Advocates Public Policy Institute
The Public Policy Institute (PPI) was founded in 2008 as a division of Community Advocates, a nonprofit serving low-income people in Milwaukee since 1976. PPI pursues its mission to prevent and reduce poverty while fostering wellness through a combination of local and national-scope work. The approach includes public health prevention work, re-granting to community-based agencies, policy research/advocacy, and a Minority Male Achievement Initiative. PPI seeks to develop evidence-based policy and prevention programs to reduce poverty, narrow disparities, and promote social justice and public health.
About the National Council on Crime and Delinquency
NCCD promotes just and equitable social systems for individuals, families, and communities through research, public policy, and practice. NCCD offices are located in Washington, DC; Oakland, CA; and Madison, WI. For more information about NCCD, visit www.nccdglobal.org.
About the Social Innovation Fund
The Social Innovation Fund, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, combines public and private resources to grow the impact of innovative, community-based solutions that have compelling evidence of improving the lives of people in low-income communities throughout the United States. The SIF focuses on overcoming challenges in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. To learn more, visit www.nationalservice.gov/sif.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
Projects Abroad offers a variety of different opportunities for volunteers interested in supporting children in developing countries
NEW YORK – March 18, 2015 – For the hundreds of North Americans embarking on meaningful volunteer trips abroad every year with Projects Abroad, childcare programs remain hugely popular. From day cares looking after children from single-parent families, to special needs centers supporting children with physical and mental disabilities, the organization offers a wide variety of Care programs that give volunteers the chance to show how much they care by helping to improve the lives of children in developing countries.
Here are four of the most distinctive Care projects that Projects Abroad offers:
This worthwhile project is a great way to make an impact on the lives of children with disabilities. The program involves working with therapy dogs that play a vital role in stimulating and comforting the children and helping to increase their mobility. As a volunteer, you will assist with outreach work with the dogs, visiting centers and care homes for disabled children. You will also participate in one-on-one therapy sessions conducted at the dog training center. Outside of therapy activities, your help is needed to care for the dogs and you will get involved with tasks such as cleaning out cages and feeding.
In Argentina, the organization has partnered with an equine therapy center that helps rehabilitate children and adults with emotional and physical problems. The center uses trained horses to conduct therapy sessions, forcing patients to focus on movement, spatial orientation, posture, language, and muscle control. Volunteers can contribute by helping to care for the animals, participating in riding classes, attending classes on equine therapy theories, and assisting with patient therapy sessions. This project is an ideal fit for volunteers interested in working outdoors with children and animals.
This project is perfect for volunteers looking to gain experience in social work, psychology, sociology, family education, guidance, and counseling. The Child Rights Initiative program directly addresses the social needs of children in Jamaica while utilizing the skills of volunteers in the fields of Developmental Rights and Protection Rights. Volunteers will find themselves participating in a variety of activities, including interviews, observation of psychological and educational assessments, preparing reports, planning and implementing workshops and seminars, investigative field work, case planning and case management, and more.
Millions of people across the globe have been affected by the global HIV/AIDS pandemic and unfortunately, infection rates are still rising. The effect of the disease in Africa has been particularly devastating and volunteer efforts are crucial to spreading awareness of the disease and preventing new infections in rural communities. In Ghana, volunteers on the HIV/AIDS project strive to mitigate the socioeconomic and psychological effects of the disease on individuals, communities, and the nation, through working in clinics and on outreach activities.
For more information about Care volunteer projects, please visit www.projects-abroad.org/volunteer-projects/care
Projects Abroad was founded in 1992 by Dr. Peter Slowe, a geography professor, as a program for students to travel and work while on break from full-time study. The program had its genesis in post-USSR Romania, where students were given the chance to teach conversational English. After a few years just sending volunteers to Eastern Europe for teaching, the company expanded to sending volunteers of all ages around the world on a wide range of projects.
Projects Abroad is a global leader in short-term international volunteer programs with projects in 27 countries and recruitment offices in the UK, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Holland, Hong Kong, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden and the United States.
For details on volunteering abroad, visit Projects Abroad’s web site at www.projects-abroad.org
Collaboration Puts AvalonBay Among Leading Red Cross Partners
ARLINGTON, VA — AvalonBay Communities, Inc., a NYSE listed real estate investment trust (REIT), has announced a partnership with the American Red Cross to support their core mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. AvalonBay has committed $1 million over a four year period to fund the Red Cross partnership.
Timothy J. Naughton, Chairman and CEO of AvalonBay, commented: “We are honored to partner with the American Red Cross. Our commitment to investing in building strong communities includes making those communities better prepared for natural and human disasters. The Red Cross has supported AvalonBay and the residents of our apartment communities in times of need in many ways throughout the years, and we look forward to deepening our relationship with them and supporting their mission.”
The partnership will actively engage AvalonBay’s associates as well as residents of its apartment communities across the country in a variety of Red Cross activities including blood drives, CPR training, individual disaster response training, community response education, pet preparedness and local volunteer opportunities.
“We are truly excited about AvalonBay’s commitment to their communities through the American Red Cross,” said Linda Mathes, CEO of the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region. “This collaboration provides life-saving information and resources directly to the Company’s residents and employees – enhancing their safety and readiness. Our relationship strengthens local communities and creates a powerful network of preparedness.”
The national partnership with the Red Cross is one component of AvalonBay’s philanthropic efforts and commitment to corporate responsibility. The company has a history of giving back by sharing its resources, talent and time to make meaningful, lasting change in the neighborhoods where it does business and promote the well-being of those who live there. In addition to its focus on community preparedness, AvalonBay supports charitable organizations, in its local markets, focused on affordable housing and supporting the disadvantaged.
About AvalonBay Communities, Inc.
As of December 31, 2014, the Company owned or held a direct or indirect ownership interest in 277 apartment communities containing 82,487 apartment homes in eleven states and the District of Columbia of which 26 communities were under construction and eight communities were under reconstruction. The Company is an equity REIT in the business of developing, redeveloping, acquiring and managing apartment communities in high barrier-to-entry markets of the United States. More information may be found on the Company’s website at http://www.avalonbay.com.
Teams Made Up of Association CEO, Member and Young Leader Spend One Day with Other Teams to Craft Plan for Change
Washington, D.C. – Association leaders from across the region will participate in a day-long capacity-building workshop on March 20 designed to spark big changes within individual organizations and across the association landscape.
Co-hosted by Tom Raffa and Seth Kahan, “Grand Challenges: Harnessing Your Association’s Unique Business & Social Value to Drive Membership and Benefit Society” brings together three members from each participating association to plan a Grand Challenge. Each invited association will bring their current CEO, one association member and an up-and-coming young leader.
“A Grand Challenge is a skeleton key that opens three doors: growth; mission impact; and sustainable, profitable revenue,” says Seth Kahan, author of 2013’s Getting Innovation Right. “A Grand Challenge is especially valuable to scalable associations because it grows their stakeholder base exponentially. A Grand Challenge is a bold, audacious, socially beneficial goal aligned with the organization’s mission that captures the public’s imagination.”
“There will be three people from every organization which will allow us to do a deep dive into the realities of systemic change, and to work with tomorrows’ leaders, as well as today’s,” said Kahan.
“We want to help associations transcend the ‘membership mindset’ and catalyze a movement aimed at leveraging the power of associations to solve the world’s greatest challenges,” said Tom Raffa, CEO of Raffa, a B-Corp certified, national top 100 accounting, consulting and technology firm. “My experience shows that early adopters will lead the transformation that is happening in this sphere and redefine what the association community can accomplish together.”
CEOs who are in the midst of conducting their own Grand Challenges will be sharing what they are learning: the good, the bad, and the ugly, so attendees can build on their know-how as they shape your own challenges.
The keynote speaker will be Lisa Earle McLeod, Sales Leadership expert for Forbes.com, and author of four bestselling books, including Selling with Nobel Purpose. McLeod is a sought-after expert, having appeared on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Her next book is entitled Leading with Nobel Purpose.
“Grand Challenges” is invitation-only and already includes leaders from the American Geophysical Union (AGU); American Association of University Women (AAUW); Endocrine Society; Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA); and American Nurses Association (ANA).
Grand Challenges: Harnessing Your Association’s Unique Business & Social Value to Drive Membership and Benefit Society
March 20, 9:30 am – 6:30 pm
American Geophysical Union in Washington, DC
$300 for each association team
Contact Seth Kahan at Seth@VisionaryLeadership.com if your association is interested in attending.
About Tom Raffa
Tom Raffa helps nonprofit organizations and businesses build capacity and sustain excellence in all areas of their operation. He is the President and CEO of Raffa, PC, a B-Corp certified, national top 100 accounting, consulting and technology firm and founder of Companies for Causes, a collective of socially conscious CEOs whose mission is to solve the problems of their community using targeted philanthropy and hands-on engagement from member CEOs. Raffa is the recipient of the 2014 Pearl Foundation Award for Innovation in Philanthropy.
About Seth Kahan
Seth Kahan has worked with over 100 CEOs and agency heads in both the private and public sectors. He has led change initiatives working with the Peace Corps, World Bank, Shell, and Prudential, and is identified as a Thought Leader and an Exemplar in Change Leadership. Kahan is the bestselling author of Getting Change Right: How Leaders Transform Organizations from the Inside Out.
SDSU Kyoto Prize Symposium honors Robert Langer, Sc.D., whose work has impacted an estimated two billion lives.
SAN DIEGO (Monday, March 16, 2015) — A teacher, engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and pioneer — just some of the words that describe Robert Langer, Sc.D., the founder of the field of tissue engineering used in medicine for the regeneration of tissues and organs, and the creator of the revolutionary drug delivery system (DDS) technologies.
It is estimated his work has impacted at least two billion lives.
Langer is the Kyoto Prize Laureate in advanced technology for this year’s Kyoto Prize Symposium at San Diego State University on Wednesday, March 18. He will be honored and will lecture on “Biomaterials and Biotechnology: From the discovery of the first angiogenesis inhibitors to the development of controlled drug delivery systems and the foundation of tissue engineering.”
“I am thrilled personally for myself, and I also am thrilled that my field, bioengineering, is being recognized,” Langer said.
Sponsored by the Inamori Foundation, the Kyoto Prize Symposium features lectures by esteemed scholars in three fields, including basic sciences, advanced technology and the arts and philosophy. One of SDSU’s signature events, the annual symposium honors these laureates who have had outstanding lifetime achievement.
“I think if you really believe in yourself, if you are persistent and work hard, there is very little that is truly impossible.”
Langer, who said he was inspired to create and invent because of his desire to do good and use science and engineering to accomplish that, founded tissue engineering which is indispensable for the implementation of regenerative medicine. His technique applies biodegradable polymer technologies to construct “scaffolds” for cell growth, contributing to the regeneration of tissues and organs. His development of DDS technologies allows for the controlled release of proteins, nucleic acids and other macromolecular drugs.
Though his contributions to his field are monumental, Langer said he is most proud of the young minds he has trained in his lab — 800 is the latest count. Many have gone on to successful careers and more than 270 are now professors.
“If I had any advice, any words of wisdom for young people it would be to dream big dreams about how you can do things to help people and to improve the world,” Langer said. “And there may be many times when you try to do something, when you try to develop a new product, or create a new engineering principle or whatever your dream is, that people tell you that it’s impossible, that it will never work. But I think that is very rarely true. I think if you really believe in yourself, if you are persistent and work hard, there is very little that is truly impossible.”
The most cited engineer in history
At 43, Langer was the youngest person in history to be elected to all three American science academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. He is the most cited engineer in history; his research has been cited more than 170,000 times and his laboratory at MIT is the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world. He has written more than 1,300 articles and has more than 1,000 patents worldwide.
Langer has received more than 200 major awards and is one of four living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
He received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1970 and his Sc.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974, both in chemical engineering. He has received more than 24 honorary doctorates from universities including Harvard, Yale, Northwestern and Boston.
Each year, as part of the events, SDSU graduate students who have an SDSU faculty adviser are invited to compete for an Inamori Fellowship. Applicants must have at least two semesters remaining in their program and are reviewed on work completed and planned; academic background; scholarly accomplishments; training environment including time used to focus on research; and a faculty mentor recommendation. Each Inamori Fellow receives a $5,000 scholarship.
This year’s Inamori Fellows are:
Kyoto Symposium event details
The symposium will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, in Montezuma Hall at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.
The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Register online.
About San Diego State University
San Diego State University is a major public research institution offering bachelor’s degrees in 89 areas, master’s degrees in 78 areas and doctorates in 21 areas. The university provides transformative experiences, both inside and outside of the classroom, for its 34,000 students. Students participate in research, international experiences, sustainability and entrepreneurship initiatives, and a broad range of student life and leadership opportunities. The university’s rich campus life features opportunities for students to participate in, and engage with, the creative and performing arts, a Division I athletics program and the vibrant cultural life of the San Diego region. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.
A new study by SDSU Psychology Professor Jean M. Twenge shows that Americans are more tolerant of controversial lifestyles than they’ve been in the past.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (March 16, 2015) — As the nation’s headlines turn more and more to issues of tolerance — race, religion, free speech, same sex marriage — research by San Diego State University Psychology Professor Jean M. Twenge shows that Americans are actually more tolerant than ever before.
In a paper released this month by the journal Social Forces, Twenge, along with Nathan T. Carter and Keith Campbell from the University of Georgia, found that Americans are now more likely to believe that people with different views and lifestyles can and should have the same rights as others, such as giving a speech or teaching at a college.
“When old social rules disappear, people have more freedom to live their lives as they want to, and Americans are increasingly tolerant of those choices,” said Twenge, who is also the author of “Generation Me.”
“This goes beyond well-known trends such as the increasing support for gay marriage. People are increasingly saying that it’s OK for those who are different to fully participate in the community and influence everyone else.”
Tolerance for different views
The researchers used data from the General Social Survey, a nationally representative survey of adult Americans conducted from 1972 to 2012. The survey includes a series of questions related to tolerance of people with controversial views or lifestyles including homosexuals, atheists, militarists, communists and racists.
Only tolerance for racists has decreased over time, showing people today are less tolerant of the intolerant.
So why have recent incidents of racism on college campuses garnered so much attention? “A few decades ago, racism would barely have been noticed — it might have even been rewarded,” Twenge said. “Now it’s noticed, and the consequences can be swift. It shows how much things have changed.”
Tolerance by generations
The study showed that the biggest generational shift in tolerance was between the Silent generation and the Baby Boomers who followed them. Generation X and Millennials continued the trend toward tolerance.
“American culture has become more individualistic, which has some negative consequences such as overconfidence and social disconnection. This study shows the upside of treating people as individuals: More tolerance for those who are different,” Twenge said.
Previous research has shown that Millennials (called “Generation Me” by Twenge), are less empathic and more dismissive than previous generations, so it may be surprising to some that they are also more tolerant than past generations.
“Tolerance and empathy are not the same thing,” Twenge said. “Millennials believe that everyone can live their lives as they want to — thus, they are tolerant — but that doesn’t always extend to taking someone else’s perspective or feeling empathy.”
The full study is available online at: http://sf.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/03/10/sf.sov050.full?keytype=ref&ijkey=jVi8Qpg2Fzuk3RQ
Study Timeline Remains Unchanged, IRB Approval Process Begun
Minor Changes to Patient Eligibility, Endpoint Assessment and Crossover of Patients
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– (BUSINESS WIRE) — Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT:PVCT) (http://www.pvct.com), a clinical-stage oncology and dermatology biopharmaceutical company (“Provectus” or the “Company”), announced today that the amended protocol for its phase 3 study of PV-10 as a treatment for melanoma is now available at: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT02288897. The Company does not require additional review from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(the “FDA”) to start the phase 3 study, and has begun the process of gaining approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of each individual site for the amended protocol.
Minor changes to the protocol affect patient eligibility, endpoint assessment and late crossover of patients. Specifically, the protocol has changed upon the advice of the FDA in the following ways:
The Company amended its phase 3 protocol following a Type C meeting with the FDA to review certain operational aspects of the protocol. The meeting was held by teleconference on January 29, 2015. Topics formally reviewed included subject eligibility requirements, primary and secondary study end points, and study lesion definitions and conventions for defining disease progression. The outcome of the review does not affect the fundamental design of the study nor the patient population.
The amended protocol states that the study is “an international multicenter, open-label, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of single-agent intralesional PV-10 versus systemic chemotherapy with dacarbazine (DTIC) or temozolomide (TMZ) to assess treatment of locally advanced cutaneous melanoma in patients who are BRAF V600 wild-type and have failed at least one immune checkpoint inhibitor or are not otherwise candidates for an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Subjects in the comparator arm will receive the Investigator’s choice of dacarbazine or temozolomide as determined by Investigator preference and/or local availability of the agent. Effectiveness will be assessed by comparison of progression-free survival (PFS) between all intent-to-treat (ITT) subjects in the two study treatment arms.”
As a result of the FDA review, the protocol has been amended from enrolling BRAF V600E wild-type patients to V600 wild-type patients, thereby excluding a small fraction of melanoma patients with the BRAF V600K mutation. The protocol was also amended to require failure of a single immune checkpoint inhibitor (vs. previous eligibility requiring failure of ipilimumab or another immune checkpoint inhibitor). Eligible subjects will be required to have 1-5 target lesions having a maximum diameter of at least 10 mm per lesion (vs. 2-5 target lesions each having a maximum diameter of 5 mm); this change brings the definition of target lesions into full conformity with RECIST 1.1.
The Primary Outcome Measure is progression-free survival (PFS) to be assessed every 12 weeks up to 18 months.
The Secondary Outcome Measures include complete response rate (CRR) and its duration (to be assessed every 12 weeks up to 18 months); Overall survival (OS) to be assessed every 12 weeks up to 18 months; and number of participants with adverse events assessed every 4 weeks until 28 days after last treatment. Safety and tolerability will be assessed by monitoring the frequency, duration, severity and attribution of adverse events and evaluating changes in laboratory values and vital signs. The previous secondary endpoint of “change in total symptom score from baseline using the patient reported Skindex-16 instrument (to be assessed 12 weeks after Day 1)” has been re-assigned exploratory endpoint status; this may change once the Company completes an ongoing assessment of the suitability of the Skindex-16 instrument for this patient population.
Finally, based on advice from FDA, late crossover of patients at the end of the study has been eliminated and “clinically significant progression” has been eliminated from the definition of progression. The latter change brings the definition of progression into tighter conformance with RECIST 1.1 criteria, while the former change removes the possibility that crossover of patients at the end of the study who have not already progressed on the comparator arm could detrimentally impact secondary endpoints.
About Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., specializes in developing oncology and dermatology therapies. PV-10, its novel investigational drug for cancer, is designed for injection into solid tumors (intralesional administration), thereby reducing potential for systemic side effects. Its oncology focus is on melanoma, breast cancer and cancers of the liver. The Company has received orphan drug designations from the FDA for its melanoma and hepatocellular carcinoma indications. PH-10, its topical investigational drug for dermatology, is undergoing clinical testing for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Provectus has completed phase 2 trials of PV-10 as a therapy for metastatic melanoma, and of PH-10 as a topical treatment for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. Information about these and the Company’s other clinical trials can be found at the NIH registry, www.clinicaltrials.gov. For additional information about Provectus, please visit the Company’s website at www.pvct.com or contact Porter, LeVay & Rose, Inc.
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