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Weill Cornell Medicine thrives in decade of growth

laboratory scene in Weill Cornell Medicine's Belfer Research Building

Scientist and postdoctoral associate Cindy Hodakoski, center, talks with lab manager Will Lannon, right, while postdoctoral associate Valbona Luga, background, conducts experiments in the laboratory of Dr. Lewis Cantley, the Meyer Director of the Meyer Cancer Center, in Weill Cornell Medicine's Belfer Research Building in New York City. Credit: John Abbott.

Modern and bright, the Belfer Research Building on Manhattan's Upper East Side is an architectural reflection of Weill Cornell Medicine's vision for 21st-century translational research and the physical embodiment of a strategic expansion that has transformed the institution into a global health care enterprise.

Since the launch of its "Discoveries that Make a Difference" campaign in 2006, Weill Cornell Medicine has experienced unprecedented clinical growth, scientific advancement and educational accomplishments. These achievements – culminating last October with the launch of the new Weill Cornell Medicine name, along with a tagline reinforcing the mission to "care, discover and teach" – have positioned the institution to thrive in today's evolving health care landscape and to lead the way in shaping future patient care. In July 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges named WCM the fastest-growing medical school in the country based on its increase in operating revenue over the past five years.

"It's been an extraordinary decade for Weill Cornell Medicine – what we've accomplished takes my breath away," says Board of Overseers Chairman Jessica M. Bibliowicz '81. "At the heart of our motivations as doctors and scientists is a commitment to make a difference in the world, to effect lasting change that serves not only to enhance our patients' lives, but also inspire others to be bold and visionary. I'm proud of our successes in laying this vital foundation and am excited to see what's to come in the next phase of our evolution."

The centerpiece of the campaign, the Belfer Research Building, was made possible through the generosity of Weill Cornell Medicine Overseer Robert Belfer and his wife, Renee; Overseer Maurice R. Greenberg and his wife, Corinne, and The Starr Foundation; and Joan and now-Chairman Emeritus Sanford I. Weill '55, as well as many other dedicated donors. Its opening in 2014 ushered in a new era of cutting-edge, translational science, housing more than a half dozen new interdisciplinary centers and institutes that use advanced approaches to discover new treatments and cures.

To realize the building's full potential, Weill Cornell Medicine's benefactors enabled the institution to recruit more than 50 scientists, including a Nobel laureate, who are leaders in their fields. Their proximity to the adjacent Weill Greenberg Center, the institution's flagship ambulatory care center that has had more than 2.7 million patient visits since it opened in 2007, ensures that discoveries made at the bench are applied at the clinic.

WCM's patient-centered mission includes an expansion of its network of physicians. Since 2013, it has added more than 40 practices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and employed doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens. This has led to 1.6 million patient visits during the past year, a growth of 11 percent from FY 2014 and a more than 40 percent increase in the past five years.

In addition to supporting clinical care and biomedical research, the Discoveries campaign and the subsequent "Driving Discoveries, Changing Lives" campaign strengthened Weill Cornell Medicine's endowment for student scholarships and faculty positions.

WCM's dedication to making a difference in health care extends beyond the United States. In 2007, it established a formal affiliation with Bugando Medical Centre and the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania. And in 2008, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar – the first U.S. medical school outside the United States and the only such international institution to offer an American medical degree – graduated its first class of doctors.

"Weill Cornell Medicine's remarkable transformation into a global health care leader is a testament to our enduring commitment to improve patients' health," Bibliowicz says. "Our successes have empowered us to break new ground in medicine and drive innovations that will benefit generations to come."

Weill Cornell Medicine – at a glance

"Discoveries that Make a Difference" campaign

(2004-13; officially launched 2006)

Total raised: $1.3 billion

More than 150 donors gave gifts of $1 million or more

"Driving Discoveries, Changing Lives"

(September 2013 – December 2014)

Total raised: $312 million, surpassing its goal of $300 million

"Campaign for Education" (2013-present, launched 2014)

Goal: $50 million

$28 million raised to support and enhance medical education at Weill Cornell Medicine

Exceeded $20 million goal for scholarships

Gifts to recent Weill Cornell Medicine campaigns established or named the following:

Belfer Research Building

Caryl and Israel Englander Institute for Precision Medicine

Dalio Institute of Cardiovascular Imaging

Feil Family Brain and Mind Research Institute

Gale and Ira Drukier Institute for Children's Health

Helen and Robert Appel Alzheimer's Disease Research Institute

Jill Roberts Research Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Joan and Sanford I. Weill Department of Medicine

Joan and Sanford I. Weill Center for Metabolic Health

Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine

Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center

Starr Foundation-Maurice R. Greenberg Conference Center and Terrace

Starr-Greenberg Program in Arrhythmia Biology

Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute

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