Funded Areas

Funded Areas
POSER housing construction in Rwanda

Funded Areas

The Institute for the Neurosciences

The Institute for the Neurosciences at BWH is breaking ground in new approaches for patients affected by neurological and psychiatric diseases. Many patients with neurologic conditions simultaneously suffer from psychiatric symptoms like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, interruption in sleep patterns, and inability to concentrate. Such patients require highly specialized care supported by rigorous scientific and clinical research. The Institute for the Neurosciences is unique among a very small number of centers across the nation with these capabilities. Today, prospects for making significant progress in the treatment of neurological disorders and mental illness have never been greater or more promising. Advances—made possible in part through gifts to the Daniel E. Ponton Fund—are enabling scientists to probe the complex genetic basis of neurological disorders, and unravel the mechanisms that disrupt normal brain activity.

Taking Care and Taking Charge

When patients are diagnosed with a brain tumor, their lives are turned upside down. Not only does it affect their health, but also their finances, work life, and families. Thanks to donor support, patients, survivors, caregivers, and family members will be invited to attend an educational session this spring called Taking Care and Taking Charge. Using a holistic approach, a panel of clinicians will share information about coordinating treatment, as well as caregiving strategies, nutrition, and integrative therapy, and life issues such as finances, careers, and health insurance. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions to discuss specific topics of interest to them. Taking Care and Taking Charge is being presented by the Brain Science Foundation and will be underwritten by the Ponton Fund.

The Club Colette Award

The recipient of the 2014 Club Colette Award is Michael J. Zinner, MD. Zinner is the surgeon-in-chief and chair of the Department of Surgery at BWH, as well as the co-founder of the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and the Center for Surgery and Public Health. Throughout his remarkable 40-year career, he has provided expert care to countless patients and families while gaining international distinction for improving quality treatments and access for people around the world.

A natural leader, Zinner has served as vice chair of surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and chair of surgery and dean for clinical affairs at the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently serves as the Moseley Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, is past chair of the Board of Governors of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), and is a current Regent of the ACS. He is also past president of the Association for Academic Surgery, the Society of the University Surgeons, and the Society of Surgical Chairmen. A highly valued and beloved mentor, he is also a two-time winner of BWH’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award.

Previous recipients of the Club Colette Award include E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD (2013), Paul Farmer, MD, PhD (2012), Bohdan Pomahac, MD (2011) and Lewis Scott.

POSER Housing

Of the 800,000 people served by Partners in Health (PIH) in three rural districts of Rwanda, the majority live in substandard homes that contribute to poor health, especially infectious disease. To address this problem head on, PIH created the Program on Social and Economic Rights (POSER), a support system that provides housing, micro-financing, vocational training, school fee payments, and health insurance assistance. Since 2005, PIH has built 139 new houses and supplied construction materials for renovations to more than 8,000 homes to help the most vulnerable patients and families.

One-on-One: Your Questions Answered

Each year the Brain Science Foundation, which generously supports BWH, hosts Meningioma Awareness Day for patients and families affected by meningioma brain tumors (meningioma tumors are the most common primary brain tumor arising from the meninges, and are usually benign). For the past two years, the Ponton Fund has hosted an informal program for the event, One-on-One: Your Questions Answered, for patients with brain tumors. This gives patients the opportunity to talk directly to doctors and clinicians about their unique situations in an informal setting. More than 100 people participate in the event annually, where physicians and scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and its affiliates answer questions about early diagnosis, new treatment options, psychological issues, and more.