NYU Langone Community Comes Out Strong for Musculoskeletal Ball
More than 400 members of NYU Langone’s community gathered at the 2016 Musculoskeletal Ball to help advance the treatment of autoimmune disorders and muscle, bone, and joint conditions. Held at the American Museum of Natural History on November 15, the event raised $1.6 million to support a variety of research, education, and patient care initiatives, and honored Judith and Stewart Colton for their exceptionally generous gift to create the Judith and Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity, as well as Philip K. Moskowitz, MD, for the remarkable care he has provided to patients for over five decades. In addition to the $1.6 million in proceeds, Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO of NYU Langone, announced that an anonymous member of the Board of Trustees had committed to a $7 million gift in Dr. Moskowitz’s honor. A portion of the gift will go to support orthopaedic care at NYU Lutheran in Brooklyn—Dr. Moskowitz’s home borough—as well as medical education.
Known around the world for the depth and breadth of its musculoskeletal care services, which comprise the Hospital for Joint Diseases, the Center for Musculoskeletal Care, and Rusk Rehabilitation, what sets NYU Langone apart is its multidisciplinary teamwork, according to Dean Grossman. “What’s driving our ascent to top rankings in countless categories, and our continued climb in the musculoskeletal arena, is our people,” said Dean Grossman. “We have on board with us some of the most brilliant, committed individuals I’ve ever known, and it’s the reason we’re going so far, so fast.”
Adding to NYU Langone’s strength, investigators at the Colton Center for Autoimmunity and other research programs are leading groundbreaking studies that could result in entirely new methods for the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of musculoskeletal care. Pointing out that many of the most promising studies rely on philanthropic support during their critical formative stages, Steven B. Abramson, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine and senior vice president and vice dean for education, faculty, and academic affairs, thanked the Coltons for the generous gift. “Without fanfare, the Coltons have made significant gifts over the years,” said Dr. Abramson as he introduced the Coltons as the recipients of the Founders Honorees award. “I cannot thank Judy and Stewart enough for helping NYU Langone launch the Colton Center for Autoimmunity.”
Accepting the honor from Joseph D. Zuckerman, MD, the Walter A.L. Thompson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Dr. Abramson, Judith Colton spoke of her family’s deep connection to NYU Langone, noting that her uncle Lester Breidenbach was a former head of surgery and that the family’s first gift to the Medical Center established a student loan fund in his name. The Coltons have supported a variety of programs at NYU Langone for several decades, but their gift to create the Colton Center for Autoimmunity had special meaning for them—their son Michael has been treated by Drs. Moskowitz and Abramson for the autoimmune disorder antiphospholipid syndrome. “We are so proud to support a group of exceptionally talented doctors who are developing groundbreaking new treatments for patients like Michael,” said Mrs. Colton. “I look forward to seeing their work make an impact on healthcare for years to come.”
Dr. Moskowitz, the Frauenthal Honoree, summed up his 50-year career with a comment that captured the type of dedication and compassion that the Musculoskeletal Ball supports. “I can’t think of any better way to spend my life than to continue to learn, educate, and try to make life better for my patients,” said Dr. Moskowitz. “I will always consider it a life well spent. I have been blessed.” Read Dr. Moskowitz's full speech here.
An auction held during the evening raised funds for young researchers in autoimmune disease; the concussion education, research, and awareness work of NYU Langone’s Concussion Center; and Camp High-Five, a program that offers a variety of recreational activities for children who have weakness in one arm or hand from neurological and orthopaedic causes. Other speakers included Gary D. Cohn, president and COO of Goldman Sachs, NYU Langone trustee, and chair of the Musculoskeletal Advisory Board.
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NYU Langone Musculoskeletal Ball 2016
Judith and Stewart Colton
Judith and Stewart Colton have been steadfast partners of NYU Langone Medical Center for more than three decades. Passionate about cultivating young minds and emerging fields, they have fostered a gene-banking program for asthma research, as well as a young physician-scientist scholar’s fund. They also created the Dr. Lester Breidenbach Student Loan Fund, named in honor of Judy’s uncle, who served as attending surgeon at the Medical Center and later as director emeritus of emergency services. In 2014, their transformative gift to NYU Langone established the Judith and Stewart Colton Center for Autoimmunity, our multidisciplinary hub for investigating and treating autoimmune diseases.
Judy worked as a psychologist, teacher, and market researcher before creating Hartwood Systems, the computer consulting firm she ran for 25 years. In addition to her philanthropic involvement with NYU Langone, Judy has been a founding board member of New Jersey SEEDS and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. She is adept at rallying advocates and mentors to a cause, with a talent for shepherding complex projects through their early stages.
Stewart developed Alpha Metals Co., an international metals and chemical company serving the electronics industry, and has devoted himself to private investment and philanthropy since selling the business. He previously served on the board of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and as president of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, and is currently vice chairman of the board of governors at Tel Aviv University, which has awarded him an honorary doctorate.
Together, Judy and Stewart have funded scholarships, fellowships, and the Colton Family Next Generation Technologies Institute at Tel Aviv University. They have supported the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and The Wilderness Society, among other organizations. Residing in Short Hills, New Jersey, they have two adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Philip K. Moskowitz, MD, completed his undergraduate degree at Brooklyn College and his medical degree at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, earning induction into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. In 1963, Dr. Moskowitz undertook his post-graduate internship at NYU School of Medicine/Bellevue. After serving in the Army Medical Corps—in the Office of the Surgeon General and at Walter Reed Army Hospital—he returned to our Medical Center for his residency, becoming chief resident. Dr. Moskowitz directed the house staff teaching program at Tisch Hospital from 1969 to 1984, and was named Mamdouha S. Bobst Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in 2000.
A beloved and trusted physician and faculty member, Dr. Moskowitz has served in many capacities during his five decades at NYU Langone: as faculty director of development, an active role he has played for over a decade; on the executive committee for medical school admissions; on numerous projects in partnership with the Dean’s office; and as leader of NYU Langone’s development campaigns. He has deep respect for his personal friends Judy and Stewart Colton, providing guidance for their extraordinary gift to support autoimmunity research. Dr. Moskowitz recently celebrated fifty-six years of marriage to his wife, Carol, with whom he shares a family of three children and five grandchildren.