Employing direct and transformational philanthropy and research grant funding, Ann Lurie has supported education, social services, arts and health care organizations around the world.
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
A cornerstone of Lurie’s philanthropic support is her dedication to medical care, especially pediatric health care. In 2007, she pledged $100 million to help fund construction of the state-of-the-art Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Lurie Children’s is located in downtown Chicago, adjacent to the campuses of all four of its academic partners: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Northwestern Memorial and Prentice Women’s Hospitals; and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
"Ann Lurie's $100 million gift to help establish the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago will make an extraordinary difference in the health and wellbeing of the region's children when it opens in 2012. Ms. Lurie's gift is even more meaningful because she once worked here as a critical care nurse and knows how philanthropy can transform care."
- Patrick M. Magoon, president and CEO, Children’s Memorial Medical Center, March, 2011
At Children’s Memorial Hospital, Ann endowed a chair in Cancer Cell Biology, and, in an innovative public/private partnership effort with the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, donated major funding for the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS research.
While her late husband Bob was being treated at Northwestern, he and Ann endowed what is now the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, where she continues to provide support and chairs the Advisory Board. Also at Northwestern, she funded both the Diana, Princess of Wales, Professorship in Cancer Research and a Lurie Professorship in Oncology. In 2000, Ann committed the lead funding for construction of the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center at Northwestern University.
“In the early years of the 21st century, we anticipate a remarkable expansion of medical knowledge followed by the enhanced ability to treat as well as prevent disease. Northwestern University can be a leading participant in these discoveries, but only if we aggressively expand the research initiative through collaboration between private and public philanthropy under strong University and Medical School leadership."
- Ann Lurie
University of Michigan
Ann’s philanthropy also includes the University of Michigan, Bob’s alma mater.
She funded the construction of the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Tower. With Chicago businessman Sam Zell, she established the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan Business School. Drawing on Bob’s education and training in engineering and her nursing background, Ann has actively promoted collaboration between engineering and medicine by endowing a faculty chair at the College of Engineering and contributing the major funding for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Biomedical Engineering Building and the Robert H. Lurie Nanofabrication Facility.
In tribute to her mother, also a nurse, Ann endowed the Marion Elizabeth Blue Professorship in Children and Families in the School of Social Work, along with a matching challenge grant program to encourage the establishment of fellowships.
Africa Infectious Disease Village Clinics (AID Village Clinics)
In 2002, Ann founded the Mbirikani Clinic and was president of the AID Village Clinics until it closed in late 2012. The Clinics’ Mbirikani Hospital offered comprehensive medical care and public health services to a population of approximately 100,000 semi-nomadic pastoralists, mostly Maasai, in rural southeastern Kenya. AID Village Clinics made a significant impact in addressing the challenges of disease, helping save the lives of thousands and improving the health opportunities for many more.
The Clinics leave behind an important legacy. Among specific accomplishments:
- Over 10,000 individuals have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and thousands are receiving care either from our facility or others;
- Mother-to-child-transmission of HIV/AIDS has been reduced to zero among our patients under care;
- Half a generation of infants have been immunized;
- Nearly every resident now sleeps under a mosquito net virtually wiping out malaria in the area;
- Chronic infections have been addressed and in many cases cured;
- Patients have been referred to Nairobi at no cost to them for specialized diagnosis and treatment that could not be carried out at the site.
- Residents have pit latrines where there were previously no sanitary facilities;
- Supplemental feeding has been provided in times of local disaster or drought;
- Waterborne illnesses have declined dramatically due to the use of an inexpensive product to sterilize water;
- Many community members now understand when they are ill and know how to take steps to prevent illness and to monitor their own health;
- A database is in place that can be mined for information about what works – and what does not – to produce positive outcomes in an isolated rural community.
There is much hope for the future. The capacity of Kenyan government institutions has improved, and our patients should be able to avail themselves of care, including HIV/AIDS medications provided through the PEPFAR program.
OTHER PHILANTHROPIC PROJECTS
Ann Lurie’s philanthropy provides vital support to the critical needs of multiple agencies around the world, including, but not limited to, initiatives addressing hunger, health care deficiencies, animal welfare issues, arts enrichment and conservation programs.
Ann’s extensive list of Chicago-based philanthropy includes:
- Founded and provided major funding to Gilda’s Club, Chicago, a support community for those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
- Endowed Lurie Garden and provided cornerstone funding for the Joan and Irving J. Harris Dance Theater, both at Millennium Park.
- Provided lead gift for capital campaign of Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank.
- Funded Lurie Family Spay/Neuter Clinic at PAWS, Chicago’s largest no-kill humane animal shelter.
- Endowed annual Christmas party for needy children and low-income seniors at St. Vincent DePaul Center.
- Funded Infant Welfare Society lead poisoning prevention and triage nursing programs.
- Supplied scholarship support for members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
- Funded capital construction costs for headquarters of Access Living, a leading force in the disability advocacy community.
Ann’s commitment to global philanthropy includes:
- Endowed The Lurie Prize Program at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, an annual $100,000 award that recognizes the outstanding achievements of a promising biomedical research scientist.
- Supported Riders for Health, a UK-based charity that creates and sustains health care delivery systems in Africa.
- Supported, in cooperation with Save the Children and ONE Love Africa, construction of 30 rural schools in Ethiopia.
- Supporting Ancient Egypt Research Associates, Inc., an archaeological excavation on the Giza plateau.
- Supporting Trust for African Rock Art, an organization creating greater global awareness of the importance and endangered state of African rock art.
- Supporting conservation, education, reforestation and health initiatives of the Maasailand Preservation Trust.
- Funding an HIV/AIDS initiative on the Burma/China border with Pangaea Global Health.
- Funding Human Rights Watch, Horn of Africa research and advocacy activities in Kenya.
- Sponsored the WE-ACTx pediatric care program for HIV/AIDS patients in Rwanda.
- Sponsored a Children’s Memorial Hospital medical team’s travel to Katmandu, Nepal, to perform corrective surgery for pediatric Extrahepatic Portal Hypertension.
Sponsored graduate level education for Kenyan physicians and medical personnel in International Public Health, Global Health and Masters of Medicine at noted academic medical centers in the US, UK, Australia and South Africa.