Giving Newsletter April 2018

Giving - Making a Difference

Giving Newsletter

From Concept to Reality:
Our Community Unites

With just over $5 million needed to reach the $30 million fundraising requirement for construction of The Robert E. and Holly D. Miller Building, the remarkable commitment and generosity of our community grows ever clearer. Without philanthropic support, the Miller Building - a long-term investment in our collective health - would not be possible.

From grateful patients and families to providers, staff, community members and local businesses, contributions at all levels are helping to bring the promise of this critical healthcare facility into reality. Read a few of these inspiring stories in the UVM Medical Center Foundation’s 2017 Philanthropy Highlights.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

Helping Hands, Giving Heart

“As an IV nurse, if you take the time to get a warm towel and wrap [a patient’s] arm...the difference between success and failure is night and day,” reflected Bryan Lorber, UVM ’82, ‘95 Nursing, and former member of the nursing float pool at Fletcher Allen Health Care, now UVM Medical Center. “Seeing people realize that I actually care about them...that is the most gratifying aspect [of nursing] to me. The human element.”

This year, Lorber established the Joan Hecht and M. Philip Lorber Memorial Scholarship to encourage students, especially males and people from underserved communities, to pursue degrees in nursing.

The scholarship is named for Lorber’s mother and father, “Two very different people but both extraordinary in their warmth and generosity.” Lorber’s father, Philip, came from modest roots and was the first in his family to graduate high school. He eventually became a lawyer and frequently worked pro bono for people in need.

Lorber’s mother, Joan Hecht, grew up in Baltimore’s high society. “My mom did so much volunteer work, and although she came from privilege, she understood that it’s important to give back,” shared Lorber.

Now retired, Lorber lives with his wife, Leslie, in Massachusetts and enjoys bicycle rides throughout the world. He continues to be of service, helping his community with fundraising for programs that serve disadvantaged children. Read Lorber’s full story.

Join the June 8 celebration of the 75th anniversary of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences’ nursing program. Click here.

New Heights

Many of us hike mountains for fun, but few are willing to brave winter’s wrath for a climb, much less 3 peaks in 4 weeks.

In this video, witness the spirit and drive of UVM Larner College of Medicine Dean Rick Morin, MD, as he climbs Camel’s Hump, Mount Mansfield and Mount Marcy to help fundraise for the Larner College as part of the 2018 Match Challenge.

Morin enlisted friends to help document his climbing adventure, sending photographs and videos back to campus to help inspire Larner medical alumni to donate to their alma mater. If 375 alumni made a contribution, Morin and his wife, Tracy, would make a gift of $15,000 to support the very place to which Morin has devoted the past decade as dean.

At 11:37am on March 16, as the bagpipes officially launched Match Day (the day medical students learn where they’ve “matched” for residency programs), the goal of 375 donors was reached. In all, 424 alumni made Match Challenge contributions. Watch the Match Day video and see the Class of 2018 Match results here.

33% of Vermont’s physicians have attended the College and/or completed a residency or fellowship there, so events like the Match Challenge — spearheaded by champions like Morin — are investments in not only medical education but also our community’s health.

Team Up and Paddle: Support Local Cancer Patients and Survivors

Rally friends, family and colleagues, grab a paddle and join one of our region’s most spirited Lake Champlain events: the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival. This year, Festival proceeds will benefit Integrative Therapies at the UVM Cancer Center, bringing relief and comfort to cancer patients and survivors here in Vermont and northern New York.

Although cancer treatments differ, side effects such as fatigue, nausea, anxiety and pain are universal. Proven to ease these debilitating effects and improve patients’ quality of life are integrative therapies - acupuncture, massage, yoga and mindfulness — all offered at the UVM Cancer Center.

By joining a Dragon Boat team or assembling a crew of your own, you ensure that more patients have access to these health and wellness-enhancing therapies.

In essence, you help give hope.

“Dragon Boat paddling is a sport that is available for individuals of any age and ability. You can really test your athletic skills, enjoy beautiful Lake Champlain, and share in the camaraderie of a great bunch of people — all for a worthy cause,” attests Dragon Boat racer Kim Dittus, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, UVM Medical Center.

Take to the lake on August 5 and share in the spirit and adventure of the Dragon Boat Festival. Registration is now open, so visit to learn more. For information about Integrative Therapies at the UVM Cancer Center, email

Why Dance?

For progress. For a childhood. For a brighter tomorrow. Different reasons, but the end goal is the same: Dance to raise money for the UVM Children’s Hospital. Dance to improve the health of our kids.

Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a movement uniting college, university and high school students. On nearby college campuses, over 1,100 students rally to raise funds and awareness for the UVM Children’s Hospital, the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

This yearlong fundraising initiative ends with a dance marathon on each campus, where students get to meet UVM Children’s Hospital pediatric patients and their families, play games, dance, enjoy entertainment and collectively celebrate their annual fundraising totals.

Funds raised by “RALLYTHON” at UVM, “Midd Dance Marathon” at Middlebury College and “Dance Through the Knight” at Saint Michael’s College help purchase new equipment to enhance care, provide food and travel reimbursements for families who come from afar for their child’s treatment and support many other unique programs and services that only a children’s hospital can provide.

On March 3, RALLYTHON attracted 787 dancers and celebrated an $89,744.29 fundraising total. The final tally for the April 14 Dance Through the Knight marathon will be available soon.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon here.

Opening Doors for Advancement

Ellen Seuss Evans was an avid tennis player, a successful local realtor and one who reveled in the camaraderie of our community. What happened to Ellen makes no sense; but with cancer, little does. Ellen was healthy and effervescent one day, then fighting for her life the next.

Ellen’s husband, John, was familiar with the road they faced in her battle with ovarian cancer. At the time of her diagnosis, John Evans, PhD was executive dean of UVM’s Larner College of Medicine, where he’d been a faculty member since 1976. He trusted the care UVM Medical Center’s oncology team was providing, particularly the nurses.

“I visited Ellen at every opportunity, but it was deeply comforting to know that when I couldn’t be by her side, she was in good hands,” said Evans. “The nurses set me most at ease; their attentiveness and compassion were unparalleled.”

When her prognosis declined, Ellen and John established The Ellen Seuss Evans Nursing Education Fund to acknowledge the oncology nurses’ wonderful care. Since Ellen’s death in 1998, the Fund has supported certification and continuing education, professional development, and tuition reimbursement.

For Jenna Page, MSN, RN, OCN (pictured above with Evans), the Fund has helped her attain a master’s degree, attend a national conference and earn leadership roles.

“I know Ellen would be proud,” said Evans.

Gifts at all levels open doors to transformative training opportunities. Contact Yael Friedman at to learn more.

Russ Clark Knows What Counts

Russ Clark is known as the guy with the dolly and the buckets.

Buckets of coins, that is. For the past nine years, Clark has ranked as a top “bandit” of the Big Change Roundup For Kids, the signature annual fundraiser for UVM Children’s Hospital.

Through Clark’s Truck Center, his family’s truck sales and service business, Clark collects pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters with the help of friends, relatives, employees and customers who have joined his “posse.”

At his sons’ school, Cambridge Elementary, Clark delights students with a presentation complete with “sheriffs” who arrive in “Bandit 1,” the Big Change Roundup RV and a video. He buys pizza for the class that raises the most money and cake and ice cream for the class that designs the most creative bucket.

“The younger ones, especially, get so excited,” he says. One year, the kindergarteners alone collected $1,000.

At the March 19 Big Change Roundup live broadcast finale, Clark and his “posse” rolled in 346.5 pounds of “loot” equaling $16,708.32. His nine-year total? Over $70,000.

Clark enjoys the fanfare, but that’s not why he’s so dedicated. When he talks about the pediatric patients who attend the roundup event in wheelchairs, or the children he memorializes through his fundraising efforts, his eyes grow moist with tears and he chokes up.

“I’m just happy,” Clark says, “to do what I can to help those kids.”

This year’s bandits raised over $330,000 for the children’s hospital. For photos, “posse” fundraising totals and more, visit

The Microbiome: How It Keeps You Healthy...Or Not!

Over the past decade, new technologies have enabled scientists to study the communities of microorganisms that call our bodies home. Learn what we currently know about the human microbiome, how it is connected to digestive and overall health, how it may be related to various diseases and how we can use it to potentially treat diseases. Fecal microbiota transplants and other emerging "smart" microbiome-based therapeutics will be addressed.

Presenter: Jessica Crothers, MD, UVM Research Fellow, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Tuesday, May 1, 6:00-7:30 pm in the Carpenter Auditorium, Given Building, UVM Campus

To express our appreciation, we invite donors to the UVM Medical Center to join us for a reception in the Hoehl Gallery at the Larner College of Medicine at 5:15 pm, just prior to Community Medical School. For more information or to RSVP for the reception, please contact Allison Searson at

For more information about the Spring 2018 schedule, click here, or, to view past lectures and materials, visit the Community Medical School archives.

Community Medical School presentations are free and open to the public.

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University of Vermont Medical Center
Kevin McAteer
Chief Development Officer
Academic Health Sciences
111 Colchester Ave
Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 656-4469
© 2018

  April 27, 2018