The Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation donated $5 million to the Cleveland Clinic Center for Clinical Immunology. The Foundation, established by Richard J. Fasenmyer, has donated millions of dollars to charitable causes, particularly in health care, higher education and the arts.
The gift is a legacy of Richard J. Fasenmyer, who passed away in December 2002. Mr. Fasenmyer was a Cleveland-area industrialist known not only for his business acumen, but also for his kindness and generosity. He founded RJF International Corporation, a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of interior wallcoverings, industrial matting products and specialty films such as Koroseal®, Koroseal Studios®, Vicrtex® Sanitas®, Walltalkers® and Korogard®.
John Baechle, CEO of RJF International Corporation and a director of the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation, said the Foundation is pleased to provide this financial support to the Cleveland Clinic to conduct immunology research. "Dick Fasenmyer had an extraordinary commitment to people. In both business and community, he worked to make people's lives better. This donation is a continuation of his dream," according to Mr. Baechle.
The grant helps establish The Richard J. Fasenmyer Center for Clinical Immunology, a center dedicated to the treatment and study of immune system disorders.
The R.J. Fasenmyer Center for Clinical Immunology expands The Cleveland Clinic's Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases, ranked third in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and the Clinic's commitment to the research and treatment of rheumatic and immunologic diseases, in addition to educating the general public and medical professionals about these devastating illnesses, which include HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and vasculitis, a group of rare disorders affecting blood vessels.
"This center will promote excellence in patient care, research and education within the field of immunology with special emphasis in the areas of chronic viral diseases and vasculitis," said Leonard H. Calabrese, D.O., Vice Chairman of the Clinic's Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Disease and an internationally known expert in the field of immunologic diseases. "The support of the Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation fuels our continued efforts to provide patients with the best and most advanced care and allows us to further research and education in this growing field."
Dr. Calabrese will serve as Director, and Gary Hoffman, M.D., Chairman of the Clinic's Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases, will serve as co-Director of the Fasenmyer Center.
The $3.5 million grant builds upon a $1.5 million commitment the Fasenmyer Foundation made to the Clinic to endow the R.J. Fasenmyer Chair in Clinical Immunology presently held by Dr. Calabrese. It also expands the resources available for the recruitment and retention of researchers and clinicians for patient care, research and education in immunology. The grant will also fund new research and training of physicians and allied health professionals and will allow for expanded collaboration with other organizations in the area of immunology.
The immune system is the part of the body that forms defenses against outside invaders like infections and cancer. Clinical immunology encompasses diseases characterized by over-activity of the immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease, and illnesses caused by deficiencies in immunity, particularly HIV/AIDS. Other disorders stemming from cancer and organ transplantation, in addition to asthma and allergies, also fall within the area of immunologic disorders.
The focus of the Clinic's Section of Immunology is primarily, though not limited to, two areas: the immunologic diseases associated with chronic viral illnesses such as HIV and Hepatitis C, and autoimmune disorders, in particular, vasculitis, the field of vascular inflammatory disease.
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. The Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names The Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation's best hospitals in its annual "America's Best Hospitals" survey. Approximately 1,500 full-time salaried physicians at The Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2004, patients came for treatment from every state and 100 countries. The Cleveland Clinic website address is www.clevelandclinic.org.
The Richard J. Fasenmyer Foundation was established as a mechanism to channel funds where they can make a meaningful impact on the efforts of those already striving to make the world a better place to live and work. The Foundation gives liberally to charitable causes, particularly in health-care, higher education and the arts. The Foundation receives funding from RJF International Corporation, a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of interior wallcoverings, industrial matting products, and specialty films. Key brands include Koroseal®, Koroseal Studios®, Vicrtex®, Walltalkers®, Sanitas® and Korogard®.