Alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and fans are introducing the new funds and ideas that set NYU apart. These generous and innovative gifts supported a myriad of NYU’s COVID-19 response efforts.
Advanced Micro Devices
The Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences has received an impressive gift-in-kind from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), one of the country’s leading computer processor manufacturers. AMD is donating a state-of-the-art computer system to be used at NYU’s new High Performance Computing Center, and remote access to a second, cloud-based system located at Penguin Computing. Together, the two systems, both powered by AMD processors, will provide Courant and other NYU researchers with up to two petaflops of computing power. The institute plans to use these resources in a wide range of projects related to the COVID-19 crisis—from developing drugs that can be used to treat both COVID-19 and future SARS virus mutations to analyzing political attitudes and voting behavior in response to financial hardships stemming from the pandemic. “We are tremendously grateful to AMD for their extraordinary gift,” says Courant director Russel Caflisch, PhD. “COVID-19 has had a profound impact on higher education research—both in terms of its direction and the need for immediate results—so the timing of this donation is particularly fortuitous.”
Atlas Air Worldwide
New York–based Atlas Air Worldwide volunteered two of its Boeing 747-400 freighters to transport medical gowns, face shields, and masks to NYU Langone from Shanghai. “The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the accessibility of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers,” NYU Langone dean and CEO Robert I. Grossman, MD, said in a statement. “We extend our heartfelt thanks to Atlas Air for their extraordinary generosity, and for their efforts to ensure that our community is well equipped in our ongoing battle against COVID-19.”
Ernest Chiu, MD
Grossman School of Medicine and Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery faculty member Ernest Chiu, MD, was involved with a massive effort to coordinate the donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from China to 10-plus hospitals in New York City. Columbia alumni led the charge, and Chiu—a graduate of Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons—enlisted NYU colleagues Jeff Klein, MD; Liza Chau, RN; and Yi-Ling Tan, MPH. Together, they secured a portion of the much-needed PPE for NYU Langone Health at large. The PPE distributed across the city included more than 3 million surgical masks, 21,000 N95 masks, 63,000 face shields, 345,000 medical gloves, 13,000 isolation gowns, and 800 medical goggles.
Alicia Georges, EdD, RN (MEYERS ’73)
Rory Meyers College of Nursing received a $200,000 bequest intent from Alicia Georges, EdD, RN. The bequest will become part of the Estelle Osborne Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2018 to honor Osborne’s legacy by providing scholarship support to high-achieving undergraduate and graduate nursing students from underrepresented communities. The first Black faculty member at NYU, Osborne dedicated her life to breaking down race barriers for Black nurses. Among her many achievements, she was part of the National Nursing Council for War Service and was instrumental in changing discriminatory policies and practices within the armed services during World War II.
The Hearst Foundations
The Hearst Foundations generously supported NYU Langone’s most acute needs with a $1 million gift for general COVID-19 efforts, and it also advanced one of the health system’s most important long-term goals with a separate $200,000 gift for simulation training for nurses. The $1 million gift to the relief fund helped NYU Langone respond rapidly to the COVID-19 crisis and enabled the health system to direct resources toward purchasing personal protective equipment, accelerating research, and securing housing for employees, among other priorities. The gift to the simulation training program helps provide hands-on, unit-based learning for recent nursing graduates, letting them practice crucial tasks they’ll perform every day with real-life patients.
“At a critical moment, the Hearst Foundations came forward in an extraordinary way to support NYU Langone’s fight against COVID-19,” says Grace Y. Ko, executive vice president of NYU Langone’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs. “Thanks in large part to the generosity of organizations like the Hearst Foundations, we have been able to meet each challenge head-on while sustaining our educational, research, and care missions, enterprise-wide.”
Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds made a gift of $100,000 to NYU Langone’s COVID-19 Response fund, which provided critical support for a host of needs, ranging from personal protective equipment to staff appreciation activities that helped boost the morale of frontline workers. Lively and Reynolds also shared a video expressing their appreciation for NYU Langone’s staff. “We are in just absolute awe of every person at [NYU Langone] that’s making such gigantic sacrifices for the greater good, and every single citizen in New York,” said Reynolds. Lively said she’d been inspired by something she had been told by NYU Langone faculty member Jonathan LaPook, MD. “Dr. LaPook told us this thing does have a beginning, middle, and end,” she said. “Thank you all for being there for every single step of it.”
Jade Lu (TANDON ’20)
When Jade Lu learned that medical personnel at NYU Langone and other city hospitals were facing shortages of personal protective equipment during the early days of the pandemic, she sprang into action, reaching out to contacts in China, sourcing the needed items, figuring out ways to navigate export restrictions, and purchasing $100,000 worth of supplies to send to Langone. “Jade’s generosity helps NYU Langone Health protect our dedicated physicians, nurses, and staff on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, who are our everyday heroes,” says Michael Healy, senior director of NYU Langone Health. Lu, who recently graduated with her master’s from Tandon’s Management of Technology program, shares the credit. “It was a joint effort on the part of many people,” she says. “It couldn’t have been done without my friends in China.”
New York Food Truck Association
During some of the hardest days of the COVID-19 crisis, the New York Food Truck Association parked food trucks at NYU Langone’s Manhattan and Sunset Park campuses to distribute donated meals, snacks, and beverages to doctors, nurses, and other staff. The trucks were a welcome addition from March through June and helped lift the spirits of frontline heroes by offering them a bit of comfort and respite. The organization also helped arrange for snacks and beverages that were distributed across multiple NYU Langone locations for three months and let the health system use one of its warehouses to store an abundance of food and beverage donations from community members and corporations.
Joan K. Stout, RN
Joan K. Stout, RN, and the Hugoton Foundation’s recent grant converted and equipped an underutilized space at the Rory Meyers College of Nursing into a functional clinical simulation learning center. Simulation is a rapidly evolving, powerful teaching strategy in healthcare education, providing innovative, experiential, and critical contextual experiences for students entering the workforce. The existing Clinical Simulation Learning Center conducts more than 115 simulations for over 1,200 students rotating through it weekly; the COVID-19 pandemic presented the challenge of needing to provide additional simulations in an already crowded space. This newly expanded center, which is reminiscent of a step-down/emergency/triage unit, may become a permanent addition to the Sim Center.