$10M donor gift to Michigan Medicine renames critical care institute – MLive.com

A sign honoring University of Michigan Health Care workers is displayed in front of the hospital Monday April 13, 2020 in Ann Arbor. Nicole Hester/Mlive.com
ANN ARBOR, MI – Michigan Medicine’s critical care institute will get a new name following a $10-million gift from the family of one of the innovator’s of the modern-day intensive care unit.
The family of Dr. Max Harry Weil, a major developer in the treatment of critically ill patients, provided the gift to also advance research and innovation at the newly-named Weil Institute for Critical Care Research and Innovation, officials said.
The institute, formerly known as the Michigan Center for Integrative Critical Care Research, was founded in 2013 to develop new treatments and technology in basic medical, clinical, information and engineering fields, according to a Michigan Medicine news release.
The gift from the Weil family assists the institute’s faculty and staff to break more ground in intensive care research, said Dr. Kevin Ward, Weil Institute executive director. The sentiment was echoed by Dr. Marschall Runge, Michigan Medicine CEO.
“Improving how providers care for critically ill patients, especially at this time, is vitally important, and this gift will allow University of Michigan to remain a leader in the field that Dr. Weil helped to pioneer,” Runge said in a statement.
Weil, a Swiss-born physician, graduated from UM in 1948. He innovated critical care by founding the Shock Unit at University of Southern California in 1959 and the Institute of Critical Care Medicine in 1974. He died in 2011 at age 84.
“There were many things that my father enjoyed in life, but he was really motivated by the idea of saving people’s lives, which he carried out to the last of his days,” Susan Weil, his eldest daughter and board member of the Weil Family Foundation, said. “We were left with a foundation and money from his pursuits of this love he had for medicine and helping people.
“There is nothing more fitting than bringing that back to his alma mater and a center that combines basic research and innovative ideas. Michigan has proven to us they can have an impact on science and products that will save lives right away, especially during this pandemic.”
The $10-million gift provides funding to develop new programming, enhance current projects in development and connect with new partnerships to create future developments, Ward said.
“In addition to supporting all of our endeavors, this gift will allow us to educate the next generation of clinicians and scientists in critical care science, as we get projects over the finish line to the patient bedside,” he said.
The Weil Institute has patents on various models, devices, diagnostics and therapeutics, according to the release. These range from items that provide critical care for sepsis and traumatic brain injury to cardiac arrest, COVID-19 and other forms of trauma, Ward said.
“It is our hope that every person who participates in this institute’s work will have a great respect for how rigorous multidisciplinary research can produce real results,” said Dr. Michael Adesman Weil Family Foundation president.
For more information, visit weilinstitute.med.umich.edu.
The Weil gift adds onto recent substantial gifts to Michigan Medicine. Judith Tam provided $7.6 million earlier this month to enhance treatment to more resistant lung cancers, while UM Regent Ron Weiser donated $30 million in December to establish the Weiser Center for Prostate Cancer.
Read more from The Ann Arbor News:
Ron Weiser donates $30 million to establish University of Michigan prostate cancer center
Michigan Medicine CEO: ‘Health care is truly in a crisis’ amid COVID surge, staffing shortage
Crowded conditions, overloaded services mark ‘dire’ COVID-19 situation at Michigan Medicine
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