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Upstate's medicine department gets $1M gift

Upstate's medicine department gets $1M gift

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Upstate Medical University has received a $1 million gift from the Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) of Nashville to establish the Edward T. Schroeder/DCI Inc. Endowed Professorship in Nephrology, named in honor of Upstate emeritus faculty member, scientist, administrator and clinician.

“We are tremendously grateful to DCI for this extraordinary gift,” said Upstate President David R. Smith, M.D. “This kind of corporate philanthropy is rare and demonstrates a culture of giving that is simply inspirational.”

According to Eileen Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate, the gift is the largest ever received by Upstate’s Department of Medicine. The Foundation for Upstate Medical University will raise an additional $500,000 to cover the entire cost of the endowed professorship.

“The generous contribution will certainly inspire others to give to the endowment and we are already beginning to receive additional gifts,” said Pezzi, vice president for development at Upstate.  “Thank you, DCI.”

The endowed professorship will be used to attract and retain a full-time professor/researcher with a specific interest in dialysis and end stage renal disease to Upstate’s Division of Nephrology, providing support to the university’s tripartite mission of education, research, and patient care. The professorship will carry the name of fund.

Schroeder served the university for more than 35 years, beginning in 1965. He retired from Upstate in 2003. During his tenure, he served as chief of the Division of Nephrology and interim acting chair of the Department of Medicine, among other roles.  He was an early developer of dialysis and dialysis programs in the region, and continues to volunteer with the National Kidney Foundation.

In addition to the $1 million gift, DCI has in the past provided more than $200,000 in research grants to nephrology and other departments.

DCI is the largest non-profit dialysis provider in the United States. Since its founding in 1971, DCI has grown to be the third largest dialysis provider in the United States, and competes effectively with three much larger multinational for-profit corporations, operating more than 210 dialysis clinics, not including the acute facilities within hospitals. DCI employs more than 5,000 people and serves over 13,000 patients within 27 states.  Over the last 40 years, DCI has given more than $188 million in support of research and education to its programs and affiliated institutions.  University Dialysis Center, located at 1127 E. Genesee St., in Syracuse, serves as the local DCI outpatient clinic.

DCI officials were honored for their gift at the Upstate Gala, held Nov. 30 at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter Complex in downtown Syracuse.

Caption: From left, Don Weber, DCI local administrator; Sri Narsipur, MD, chair of Upstate’s Division of Nephrology; Upstate President David R. Smith, MD; Upstate Professor Emeritus Edward Schroeder, MD; and Karen Hansen, DCI corporate administrator, gather at the Upstate Gala Nov. 30.