In 1953, a group of influential New York women were inspired by the dream of a new medical school that would welcome gifted students regardless of race, religion, gender or creed - a revolutionary concept at the time. They spearheaded a fundraising campaign that played a vital role in making the dream a reality. Since opening its doors in 1955 Albert Einstein College of Medicine has been recognized as one of the nation’s premier centers for biomedical research and education, embodying the humanistic values and scientific excellence of its namesake. That core group of women whose efforts were so instrumental in helping to write the first chapter in Einstein’s illustrious history formed the nucleus of the Women’s Division.
Since those early days, the Women’s Division has continued to provide dynamic philanthropic leadership on behalf of the College of Medicine and its mission to improve human health. Division members have committed their time and talent to raise tens of millions of dollars to help advance vital medical research and education programs at Einstein. In 2013, the Women’s Division completed a $3 million initiative to support research on women’s health and cancers – including breast, ovarian, uterine and cervical cancers – by leading scientists at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center (AECC).
The Women’s Division’s current project will help fund research studies at the AECC targeting a range of devastating illnesses including breast, ovarian, cervical, uterine, prostate, lung, colon and , pancreatic cancers as well as leukemia. On November 11, 2013, the division hosted a dinner at New York City’s Plaza Hotel, the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Women’s Division and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which raised $1.3 million in support of this new fundraising initiative.
Over the past 60 years, the Women’s Division has raised funds to establish the following:
- Wing for Prenatal Studies and Birth Defects Research
- Clinical Research Institute for Child Development
- Major Research Program in Cancer Immunodiagnosis and Immunotherapy
- The Harry Eagle Professorial Chair in Cancer Research
- Endowment for Research in Brain Sciences
- Endowment for Molecular Cardiology
- Major AIDS Research Program
- Endowment for Diabetes and Other Metabolic Diseases
- Endowment for Women’s Cancer Research
- Endowment for a Program for Cancer Immunotherapy and Vaccine Development
- Floor of Laboratories in the Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/
Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion
- Clinical Research Program at Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC)
Today, the Women’s Division has more than 1,000 members. The Spirit of Achievement Luncheon, held annually in the spring, is the division’s flagship fundraising event; the division hosts additional programs, lectures and events throughout the year.
The Women’s Division remains one of Einstein’s staunchest supporters, lending its leadership and strength to the College of Medicine’s ongoing efforts to improve health and quality of life for people in the Bronx and throughout New York City, the United States and the world.