2015 Putting a $250M Shine on NYC’s Hospital District
On the east side of mid-Manhattan, close enough to each other to be the three bases in a game of stickball, stand a trio of formidable medical facilities: Rockefeller University, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Weill Cornell medical school. On the very same day in 2015, the first two of those facilities announced they had received major philanthropic infusions.
Rockefeller got a pledge of $100 million from Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis to create a new medical laboratory. Meanwhile, MSK was promised $150 million by David Koch to erect an outpatient center. Both of these new buildings will stand hard by the East River, but they are otherwise sharply different: MSK’s facility will be a giant people’s clinic (treating 1,300 patients daily), while Rockefeller’s will be a center for research by top academics. Koch’s money will erect a 23-story skyscraper, while the Kravis funds will yield a two-story structure stretching three full blocks long.
Both gifts, however, address palpable needs. Since its founding by John Rockefeller in 1901, Rockefeller University has been our nation’s foremost biomedical research institution. The labs being replaced with Kravis assistance date back to the 1950s, an eon in scientific time, so the new setup should play an important role in keeping Rockefeller strong in biological investigations.
The Koch cancer center, meanwhile, will be in heavy demand for treatment. In America, one out of every two men, and one out of three women, will be diagnosed with cancer in his or her lifetime. Cancer is an age-related disease, and with New York City’s population over 65 rising fast to an estimated 1.4 million by 2030, there will be many new patients needing radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and related help.
- Wall Street Journal summary report on the two projects, wsj.com/articles/major-donations-bolster-hospital-medical-research-1432094465