Lawrence J. Goldrich, a philanthropist whose own struggles with Parkinson’s disease inspired an historic gift to help others with similar neurodegenerative disorders, has died.

Mr. Goldrich and his wife, Jan Goldrich, donated $15 million to EVMS last year. The philanthropic gift — the largest in the school’s 48-year-history — is funding the creation of the EVMS Lawrence J. Goldrich Institute for Integrated NeuroHealth. The new institute will focus on addressing the complex healthcare needs of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, cognitive and memory disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, and patients in need of palliative care.

“Mr. Goldrich was a compassionate and generous individual who has left a lasting legacy on our institution and the larger Hampton Roads community,” says Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine. “Mr. Goldrich played an instrumental role in bringing to fruition his bold vision for a new approach to transform care for those suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. We will carry forward this important work in his honor.”

The Goldrich Institute — the first of its kind in Hampton Roads — will provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary care for patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. It also will provide support systems for patients and their families, improve access to new drug therapies and clinical trials, and accelerate research that may lead to better treatment and possible cures.

Mr. Goldrich was a highly respected and well-known real estate developer. He and his wife have been steadfast advocates for funding neurohealth training, patient care and research. They hoped their investment will inspire others.

In a joint statement on the occasion of their gift, the couple said they hoped their investment would inspire others.

“Larry’s personal struggle with Parkinson’s disease forced us to realize that the facilities available for treatment and education were limited, adding to the frustration of simply living with the disease. We hope our gift will improve the quality of life for patients, caregivers, and their families,” Mr. and Mrs. Goldrich said. “It is also our hope that our investment in the community will encourage others to join us in this effort.”

Currently, no cure exists for any of the identified neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, experts predict that the number of cases of neurodegenerative disorders will increase dramatically as the population ages. There is a lack of specialty physicians and healthcare professionals in Hampton Roads and across the state to meet the increasing demand for this unique patient base.

In addition to providing high-quality patient care, physician-scientists at the Goldrich Institute will be able to focus their work on identifying ways to improve diagnostics and therapeutics for patients. EVMS students and residents will also have opportunities to learn from experts in neurodegenerative diseases. 

A private service for Mr. Goldrich will be held Thursday, April 1, at 3 p.m. It can be viewed here.

In addition, Mr. Goldrich's memorial service may also be viewed on Altmeyer's Funeral Home website,