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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Focus on Philanthropy

Posted By: Advancing Care
Zubeen Shroff, Westchester Medical Center Foundation Board Chair / Photo courtesy of WMCHealth

As seen in the December 2020 Issue of Advancing Care.

WMCHealth’s SVP for Strategic Alliances & Partnerships, Sue Gerry, sat with Westchester County Healthcare Corporation Corporate Board First Vice Chair and Westchester Medical Center Foundation Board Chair Zubeen Shroff to discuss his involvement with Westchester Medical Center and the importance of philanthropy.

SG: How did you first become involved with WMC?

ZS: Around 2003, the institution put out a community call to action highlighting that it could be in financial trouble. By then, our family already had deep roots in the Hudson Valley: My wife, Anahaita Kotval, and I grew up here; our parents still reside here; and my children attended Irvington public schools. Community service has always been important to us. Having operated in the healthcare industry for the last three decades, I have a special appreciation for how important healthcare resources are to a thriving community. I felt it was my duty to offer my help and support.

I got more involved, eventually joining the Foundation Board. Given my background, building healthcare companies across the country, I was introduced to the WMCHealth management team, and over the years I became Chair of the Foundation and was invited to join the Corporate Board.

SG: What role does philanthropy play at WMCHealth?

ZS: For more than a century, Westchester Medical Center has been a vital resource to the community, and over this past decade, thanks to prudent management, so much progress has been made. We’ve invested more than $1 billion in medical technology, infrastructure and providing access to the best care for all, regardless of the ability to pay.

Philanthropy puts a warm face on that care. For example, thanks to the generosity of donors, we were able to launch the Liquid Gold Preemie Donor Milk Bank, which provides life-saving, donated breast milk for the most vulnerable infants.

Charitable dollars also established the ShopRite Caregiver Center, prominently located in the main tower lobby. Westchester Medical Center wanted to be a place of rejuvenation, not only for patients but also for caregivers and the staff who care for patients.

Families and community members generously helped to secure funds initially. When ShopRite, an existing partner, learned of our efforts, they were inspired to help, too. Through their own campaigns, ShopRite secured much-needed follow-on funds for the Caregiver Center. We were honored to name the space in recognition of their incredible impact. To me, this is a key example of the collective impact of local, community-centered philanthropy.

SG: Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve heard from employers that healthcare is now a critical infrastructure need for business. What is the role of WMCHealth in the economic recovery from the pandemic?

ZS: In the COVID-19 era, we, as the largest employer in the Hudson Valley, have had to figure out how we were going to keep our workforce safe and support them with resources, including access to mental health and wellness supports. The institution and our health heroes received a tremendous outpouring of community support, which has been deeply appreciated. Employers in the region are now going through those same challenges. WMCHealth is here to share best practices and provide services, from occupational health to anxiety support. We can provide services to ensure safe and healthy worksites and workforces. We truly are all in this together.

SG: What do you recommend for a person who’s interested in getting engaged in philanthropy?

ZS: Just reach out! Every volunteer hour and dollar is appreciated. We are thankful to the many community members who already give back to Westchester Medical Center in so many ways. Be one of them.

To learn more about ways to engage with any WMCHealth hospital, please contact the Westchester Medical Center Foundation office at 914.493.2575 or email [email protected].