Schlager Family Continues Decades of Leadership

This story appears in the Winter 2016 issue of the Life.Giving.Breakthroughs. donor newsletter.

“The 12 proudest moments of our lives happened here: the births of our three children and nine grandchildren,” says Judie Schlager, reflecting on the half-century relationship she and her husband, Larry, have had with Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). She also cites life-saving surgeries, primary care visits, and innovative treatments that have made a difference to their family.

To show their collective thanks to BWH, the Schlager family—including Judie and Larry, and their children and spouses, Robert and Amy, Eric and Beth, and Joan and Mark Weinsten—recently pledged $2 million. This generous contribution builds upon decades of philanthropy to BWH.

The new gift supports four initiatives, including the Schlager Family Breast Cancer Assistance Fund. “I’m a 25-year patient at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center,” Judie says. “I’ve met amazing people in the clinic—women who make great sacrifices to get the care they need—and our family wanted to ease their burden as much as possible.”

Under the direction of Mehra Golshan, MD, this endowed fund will provide invaluable assistance for patients who face financial hardship related to breast cancer surgery, from housing to medications not covered by insurance.

The gift will also name the Schlager Family Innovation Hub, located in the main lobby of the Brigham Building for the Future, scheduled to open this fall. The research and care facility will enhance the collaborative spirit the family greatly admires at BWH.

“This building will bring the brightest, most caring physicians and researchers side by side to find cures more quickly,” Larry says. “We want to fuel their ingenuity, which is why we’re supporting this project, as well as the Brigham Innovation Awards and the Rheumatology Fund for Research and Innovation.”

“The Schlagers are lifelong friends of the hospital in every sense,” says BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD. “With their leadership on several governing boards over the years and ongoing concern for patients, their involvement transcends philanthropy.”