Officials with Eastern Virginia Medical School announced today the establishment of a new institute focused 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. The institute is the first of its kind in Hampton Roads and is being made possible through a $15 million gift from long-time Virginia Beach resident Lawrence J. Goldrich and his wife, Janice T. Goldrich.
Through their donation to the EVMS “Deliver on the Promise” campaign, Mr. and Mrs. Goldrich join the school’s founders and champions in helping EVMS provide national-caliber specialty care in Hampton Roads.
“The Goldrich gift will be a lasting legacy and is a transformative moment not only for EVMS, but also for the Hampton Roads community,” says Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost of EVMS and Dean of the School of Medicine. “This funding is a testament to the vision of the Goldrich family and their dedication to improving the lives of people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders. I cannot thank them enough for their generosity and faith in our institution. EVMS aspires to be the most community-oriented school of medicine and health professions in the nation, and their gift moves us much closer to achieving our goal.”
The philanthropic gift — the largest in the school’s 47-year-history — will fund the creation of the EVMS Lawrence J. Goldrich Institute for Integrated NeuroHealth. The institute 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.
The new institute is named for Mr. Goldrich, who himself has Parkinson’s — a disease that affects more than 10 million people around the world.
Mr. Goldrich is a highly respected and well-known real estate developer. He and his wife are steadfast advocates for funding neurohealth training, patient care and research. They hope their investment will inspire others.
“Over the last few years,” Mr. and Mrs. Goldrich say, “we have given thought as to how we could act as a catalyst to improve patient care in Hampton Roads for individuals and their families living with neurodegenerative diseases. 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.”
Mr. and Mrs. Goldrich explain that their family has benefited from the region’s excellent healthcare, thanks in large part to EVMS physicians and alumni. “We have observed the rapid growth of EVMS in size and services. We are aware that not only does EVMS have outreach extending across the entire Commonwealth, but the school is also achieving national recognition for the scope and quality of its work.”
But, they explain, EVMS had yet to offer a program or clinic that focused on patients with neurodegenerative disorders. “We strongly felt that the need for such existed, that it could truly make a difference in patients’ lives; and that if we could lend our support in establishing such a program, now was the right time to do so.
“We hope our gift will improve the quality of life for patients, caregivers, and their families,” Mr. and Mrs. Goldrich add. “It is also our hope that our investment in the community will encourage others to join us in this effort.”
Currently, not a single 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.
“Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Goldrich, patients will have access to the most robust and comprehensive care team in the region,” says Kurt Stauder, DPA, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of EVMS Medical Group. “This centralized, team-based approach will greatly transform how this specialized care is delivered in Hampton Roads while also improving the training for current and future healthcare providers.”
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.
“This generous gift will truly enable us to move the care of Parkinson’s and other neurologic diseases far into the future,” says Karen Thomas, DO, Sentara Neurology Specialists, who treats Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. “This will be transformational in southeastern Virginia and have a lasting impact on the health of the community.”