Medical College of Wisconsin receives $37.8 million gift

The Medical College of Wisconsin received its largest philanthropic gift of $37.8 million from the Kern Family and the Kern Family Foundation to establish the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education (Kern Institute).

“The Kern family and the Kern Family Foundation are one of the nation’s most distinguished supporters of innovative education models, and we are grateful for their partnership in establishing the Kern Institute,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW. “Their generous support for the Kern Institute and the National Transformation Network is another example of how leadership from the Kerns is building long-term and sustainable initiatives aimed at unlocking human potential through quality, character-driven education programs.”

In addition to the gift from the Kern family and the Kern Family Foundation, Steve Roell, chair of the MCW Board of Trustees, and his wife, Shelagh, provided a generous gift to establish the Steven and Shelagh Roell Endowed Chair of the Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education. Cheryl A. Maurana, PhD, Founding Director of the Kern Institute, has been named as the inaugural holder of the Stephen and Shelagh Roell Endowed Chair.

“Steve and Shelagh are highly respected for their tireless efforts to strengthen our community, and they have been friends and generous supporters of MCW and our health care and education partners for many years,” said Dr. Maurana. “We truly appreciate their support for the Kern Institute, and are excited about the impact this gift is going to have on future generations of MCW medical students. This model would allow us to set the standard in medical education around the world.”

Leading the National Transformation Network, a collaborative of medical schools from around the country, MCW recognized the transformative impact that strategic philanthropy, dedicated leadership and infrastructure make in advancing innovation in medical education.

The National Transformation Network includes MCW and founding partner schools Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, University of California – San Francisco School of Medicine, University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

“Collaboration is essential for transformation. MCW and the National Transformation Network are leading the way in medical education transformation,” said Dr. Raymond. “MCW is well positioned to be a thought leader in this initiative and has demonstrated its leadership, expertise, and ability to speed the translation of innovations into practice. Our goal is to redefine medical education globally through the development of the Triple Aim for Medical Education that parallels and complements the Triple Aim for Health Care.”

“MCW is deeply committed to the transformation of medical education and fostering the qualities of future physicians,” said Dr. Raymond. “The Kern Institute will advance innovative medical education models to better prepare medical students to face the challenges of our rapidly evolving 21st century healthcare environment.”

The Triple Aim for Health Care (enhancing patient experience, improving population health, and reducing cost) is widely accepted as the key to optimizing health system performance and reducing the burden of suffering from illness and disease. The Kern Institute will drive a national movement to transform medical education by proposing an equally important Triple Aim for Medical Education: character, competence and caring. These elements of physician development are critical to partnering with patients, families, and communities for compassionate, evidence-based care, delivered with integrity.

“A healthier world starts with new knowledge, ideas and approaches to innovative patient care,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, dean of the school of medicine and executive vice president of MCW, and Chair-Elect of the Council of Deans for the Association of American Medical Colleges. “The Kern Institute will transform medical education for future medical students to become compassionate partners in medical care, as well as trusted providers.”

“On behalf of the Kern Family and the Kern Family Foundation, we are incredibly proud of our partnerships with MCW and other medical schools throughout the country which led to the vision and launch of the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education,” said Jim Rahn, president of the Kern Family Foundation. “We strongly believe that this collaboration provides a singular opportunity for us to have a lasting impact on medical education and securing quality and compassionate healthcare for all of us in the future.”

The total initial investment in the Kern Institute is $52.5M, which includes the gift from the Kern Family and Kern Family Foundation, as well as contributions from MCW, National Transformation Network partner medical schools, and other philanthropic support.

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