With their generous contribution of $1 million to Memorial Sloan Kettering, Joachim and Rosanne Silbermann and their family have lent vital impetus to the Center’s offerings for elderly cancer patients, especially those in need. The donation in support of the Joachim Silbermann Family Program in Aging and Cancer brings the family’s total giving to the initiative to $5 million.
In the time since its establishment, the Joachim Silbermann Family Program has rapidly become an integral part of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s offerings focused on the needs of older cancer patients. It exerts a broad influence through its work in conjunction with the Center’s 65+ Program, which sponsors an array of medical, psychosocial, and other services. Contributions from the Silbermann family are supporting geriatric specialists who work full-time in such areas as nutrition services, psychosocial counseling, physical rehabilitation, and occupational therapy, along with a geriatric pharmacist.
In addition, the Silbermann Family Program underwrites innovative programs that directly enhance the quality of life of patients of limited means. These range from assistance with transportation and temporary housing for patients undergoing treatment to special programs that make emergency funds and low income aid available to qualified patients when they need it most.
Many of the Program’s distinctive offerings are not reimbursable by health insurance plans and so would be beyond elderly patients’ reach without the Silbermann family’s generous financial support.
George J. Bosl, the Chairman of the Department of Medicine, has been named by Physician-in-Chief Robert E. Wittes to oversee the Joachim Silbermann Family Program. Dr. Bosl has been deeply engaged in building the Center’s geriatrics program and in the recruitment of geriatricians and geriatric oncologists.
He said, “The ongoing generous support of the Joachim Silbermann Family is helping to ensure the continued growth of our geriatrics program as a core activity at Memorial Sloan Kettering. All of us at the Center are indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Silbermann and their family for their remarkable foresight and generosity.”
Activities and services made possible through the Joachim Silbermann Family Program in Aging and Cancer promise to become even more central to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s mission in the years to come. Men and women 65 and older account for 60 percent of all diagnosed cancer cases in the U.S., and the general aging of the population is expected to yield a sharp increase in the number of older people developing the disease.
The gift in support of the Joachim Silbermann Family Program is only the latest of many contributions that Joachim and Rosanne H. Silbermann, together with their sons David and Steven, have made to causes throughout the New York region. At Memorial Sloan Kettering, they have provided support in areas ranging from pediatrics to the Department of Psychiatry to the Clinical Research Facility and Program Fund, which led to the naming of the Surgical Research Laboratories in their honor.