Gerstner Philanthropies COVID-19 Response

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  • Top Ways Regenerative Medicine is Advancing the Health Care of Tomorrow

    Regenerative medicine accelerated from the bench into the practice in new ways in 2019, ushering in an era of care focused on the body’s amazing ability to heal itself. “The regenerative toolkit keeps on expanding concomitantly, and applications of regenerative medicine into practice is increasingly broadening to more conditions that benefit more patients. Across Mayo Clinic sites and specialties, from neurosurgery, neurology, otorhinolaryngology, pulmonary medicine, cardiology and cardiac surgery to cancer and musculoskeletal care, women’s health and plastic surgery, medicine, laboratory medicine and radiology, this year has seen remarkable achievements,” says Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. Bolstered by robust research, Mayo Clinic is at the forefront of delivering new therapies that restore form and function to diseased cells, tissues, or organs — and ultimately to the individual as a whole. Regenerative medicine is redefining clinical care, going beyond mitigating disease symptoms to addressing the underlying cause. Mayo Clinic aspires to cure, connect and transform through new regenerative therapies grounded in rigorous science and in line with regulatory standards for quality and compliance. Within the next decade, regenerative medicine is predicted to account for 10% of all clinical care.

  • Mayo Clinic Regenerative Medicine on the International Stage

    Mayo Clinic experts shared their leadership and knowledge of regenerative medicine with an international audience at the World Stem Cell Summit in Miami. Every year more than 2,000 physicians, scientists, bioethicists, industry, government watchdogs and patient advocates from 44 countries convene at the World Stem Cell Summit to collaborate and focus on ways to advance emerging regenerative sciences. “This conference attracts some of the most preeminent minds in regenerative medicine and is representative of the field’s eco system. It’s a chance to share our latest research and newest applications of validated regenerative procedures,” says Shane Shapiro, M.D., medical director of Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine Therapeutic Suites at Mayo’s Jacksonville, Florida campus. Dr. Shapiro and fellow speakers Dr. Terzic and Dr. Qu receive funding from Gerstner Philanthropies.

    Read more about the summit at
  • Gerstner Family Foundation Pledges $750,000 For Brilla Expansion

    January 23, 2020

    The Gerstner Family Foundation has made the first installment of its $750,000 grant to Seton Education Partners to support the opening of two new Brilla Schools in the Bronx. Founded by Seton Education Partners in 2013, Brilla Public Charter Schools is a network of high-performing, classically-based charter schools located in the Bronx, NY. The network currently serves 940 students, 91% of whom qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Brilla, which means “shine” in Spanish, was founded on the conviction that schools should develop the whole child—mind, body, and spirit. For that reason, in addition to leveraging the best instructional practices such as technology-based learning, a co-teaching model, and a longer school year, Brilla implements a robust character education program centered around the four core virtues of courage, justice, wisdom, and self-control. In both ELA and math, Brilla was the third highest performing school out of all New York state elementary schools serving a similar demographic. Other funders of the project include The Facilities Investment Fund and Charter School Growth Fund.

  • Gerstner Philanthropies Awards Over $3 Million For Emergency Grant Program
    January 22, 2020

    Gerstner Philanthropies announced today that it has awarded $3.1 million to 18 social services organizations to be used for emergency grants to people in need. Gerstner made the grants as part of its Helping Hands program, and anticipates making additional grants this year for Helping Hands to bring the total close to $4 million. Emergency grants have been a core part of Gerstner’s work for over a decade, with grants for Helping Hands totaling almost $12 million. Approximately 12,000 households have been helped, primarily in NYC and also in Boston and Palm Beach County, Florida. The majority of emergency grants are used for eviction prevention, though funds may also be used for other urgent needs. The average emergency grant size is under $1,000. Gerstner’s recent round of grantmaking comes on the heels of the first Helping Hands convening, held in November 2019 assembling representatives from all of the organizations in the program to discuss challenges and innovations, share stories of impact, and brainstorm ideas for scaling emergency grantmaking.

  • Is there a way to predict who will become homeless? These UCLA researchers say yes
    January 8, 2020

    With the ranks of homeless people growing faster than housing is being built, one of the most popular strategies for reducing homelessness has become to simply keep people in their homes. In theory, a small infusion of cash, counseling or legal aid could be the difference that prevents someone from ending up on the street. But reality isn’t so simple. Of the tens of thousands of people who are on the brink of losing their homes every year in California and across the country, only a tiny fraction do. “Only 1 in 10 people who seem like they are going to become homeless — actually become homeless,” said Phil Ansell, director of Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative.Most prevention programs don’t take such statistics into account, erring on the side of helping as many people in need as possible. But to be truly effective and cost-effective, a program would have to be able to identify that one person who will become homeless with reasonable accuracy. Until now, there’s been no way to do that. Researchers at UCLA’s California Policy Lab and the University of Chicago Poverty Lab, however, are changing that by analyzing millions of interactions between Los Angeles County’s social services agencies and residents.