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April 06, 2016

Jefferson receives $20 million gift for CRISP initiative

Philanthropists Vicki and Jack Farber continue support for research into neurodegenerative diseases

Philanthropy Hospitals
011315_Jefferson_Carroll Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Jefferson University Hospital in Center City Philadelphia.

Thomas Jefferson University announced Wednesday that it has received a $20 million gift from philanthropists Vicki and Jack Farber to support clinical and research programs at Jefferson's neuroscience institute dedicated in the couple's name.

The gift, which raises the Farbers' total contributions to $35 million, specifically supports Jefferson's Clinical and Research Integrated Strategic Program (CRISP), which approaches the organization of healthcare based on disease focus rather than specialties or departments. The model strives to create a clinical pathway that will make service more accessible, improve patient experience and deepen collaboration to speed up the pace of research discoveries.

“For three decades, Vickie and Jack Farber have been inspiring Jefferson to reimagine how we research and care for neurological conditions, and this incredible gift will help us usher in a new era of hope for treatments and preventative therapies — maybe even cures — for ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other life-robbing brain diseases,” said Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO of Jefferson.

The $20 million investment will immediately provide infrastructure and funding to the Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center, which offers personalized care to ALS patients and serves as a dedicated lab for basic and clinical research. It will also support an expansion of the Farber Institute's neurovascular program, a technology-driven initiative to develop therapeutic strategies for conditions such as intracranial vascular malformation, intracranial tumor, stroke and intracranial stenosis.

“Research into these devastating neurologic diseases has been gaining momentum at Jefferson for years, and Vickie and I chose to make this investment now because we want to be a part of the transformation which we know is in process,” said Jack Farber, whose foundation provided a lead gift of $10 million to establish the neuroscience institute in 2002. The Farbers were inspired to support Jefferson after Vicki lost her father to ALS and her mother to Alzheimer's disease.

Today, the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience is a nearly $250 million integrated research and clinical enterprise with a mission to translate neuroscience breakthroughs into patient care solutions. Renowned internationally, it is home to a team of 115 faculty members, 78 residents, 68 clinical and research fellows, 285 staff members and 35 students committed to advancements in neurological care.

“Vickie and Jack Farber have been something of an institution themselves at Jefferson,” said Richard Hevner, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Thomas Jefferson University. “Over the decades, they have consistently been among our most loyal champions and have energetically delved into all facets of our enterprise, from care to education to the cutting edge translational science at the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience.”

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