Dr. Rubin's Introduction of Sy and Nancy Taxman and the Announcement of Their Gift

Introduction of the Taxmans as the Inaugural Ball Honorees.

Over the years, GIRF has been so fortunate to have the support of many individuals who made passionate commitments to advancing GI care through support of the University of Chicago. 

·   Tonight, as we honor GIRF and Dr. Joe Kirsner, we also recognize the tremendous support of Sy Taxman and his beloved wife Nancy who have set an example for us all to follow in their dedication to GIRF and commitment to growing the organization.  Dr. Joe has often thanked Marty Sandler and Joe Valenti for co-founding GIRF with him and has referred to Sy Taxman as the fourth founding member of GIRF.

·    Sy’s friendship with Dr Joe started as so many of his relationships- through a doctor-patient, or in this case, doctor-parent of a patient relationship and now has extended over many years and reflected the camaraderie Dr Joe engendered in all who have been privileged to know him.

·   I think it’s fitting that the work of fundraising and Sy’s own line of work are both known professionally as ‘development.’…the act of creating something …sometimes from nothing, and often where others could not see the possibilities in the future.  Sy has always seen possibilities that have so clearly fueled his tenacious support of GIRF and were clearly motivated by his interactions with Dr. Kirsner.  Sy has been the man to stand up and challenge others to do what is right, and he leads by example.

·   Many organizations in a variety of causes owe debts of gratitude to the Taxmans for generously lending their support to advancing their efforts—and none more than GIRF and the University of Chicago, for whom Sy and Nancy have made a leading commitment in their own philanthropy.
·   It is my pleasure to introduce Sy and Nancy Taxman as the GIRF Ball’s most deserving inaugural Ball Honorees…

Description of the Taxman Family Foundation Gift

On behalf of the University of Chicago Medicine and the Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, we are honored and delighted to announce the extraordinary gift by Sy and Nancy Taxman and the Taxman Family Foundation, of $2.5 million in honor of Dr Joe. 
The Taxmans’ contribution to GIRF is a gift that will endure in perpetuity and creates the following three items:

1.   In honor of Dr. Kirsner’s role as mentor and teacher, the Taxman gift will create The “Joseph B. Kirsner Endowed Fellowship”.  $1.5 M will endow an annual fellowship to support an advanced fellow in digestive diseases to advance their careers in both science and importantly, patient care.  Part of this fellowship will include studies of Dr. Kirsner’s life and achievements and a focus on the humanistic elements of care. 

2.   In honor of Dr. Kirsner’s role as physician scientist, $500k of the Taxman gift will create the “Joseph B. Kirsner Endowment for Excellence.” This educational initiative will support an annual conference at the University of Chicago with world renown colleagues and speakers on advances in the area of Digestive Diseases and during which we will pay tribute to Dr. Kirsner’s scientific contributions and selfless and unwavering dedication to his patients.  We will also have the opportunity to publicly thank the Taxman family for their support and honor the friendship that led to their gift.

3.    And finally, in order to showcase Dr. Kirsner’s work and role in the growth of the University of Chicago Medical Center throughout its history and the growth of modern medicine and the specialty of gastroenterology, $500k will support the GI Faculty Reception Area in the New Hospital Pavilion and include support for prominent and interactive displays of Dr. Kirsner’s publications, awards, letters and commendations.  Sy also had the great idea to use a portion of this gift to create a website that will document Dr. Kirsner’s accomplishments, display videos of his lectures, and allow others the opportunity to post comments and reflect on his legacy.  This will also provide a means for others to show their support for GIRF, their comments for Dr. Kirsner and to remind everyone about the importance of patient-centric care in every generation, no matter the challenges.
I know I speak for everyone here tonight, and for the generations of physicians, students, and patients who will benefit from these enduring gifts, and I know that I speak for Dr. Kirsner when I say THANK YOU to the Sy and Nancy Taxman and the Taxman Family Foundation.