$2.5 Million Gift from Helen L. Kimmel Foundation Supports Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at NYU School Of Medicine
NYU School of Medicine announced today that the Helen L. Kimmel Foundation (the Foundation) has given a $2.5 million gift to the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Funds will support the establishment of the Helen L. Kimmel Chair of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, which will be held by Joseph G. McCarthy, MD, the current chair of the department.
“We are thrilled to appoint Dr. McCarthy as the new Helen L. Kimmel Chair of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery,” said Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and CEO of NYU Langone Medical Center. “Through Dr. McCarthy’s expertise and the Foundation’s generous support, the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery will continue to strengthen its position as a national leader in advancing the techniques for reconstructive plastic surgery.”
A leader in the field of reconstructive plastic surgery, Dr. McCarthy introduced the concept of facial surgical reconstruction in patients as early as infancy to help prevent the psychological trauma that can arise if the surgeries are not performed until adolescence. He also pioneered craniofacial distraction, a procedure in which facial bones are cut and pulled apart with a special device that is screwed into the bones and then expanded daily over a one-month period. As the bones are moved apart, new bone forms in the spaces created, allowing for the correction of various craniofacial deformities.
Dr. McCarthy is a world-renowned plastic surgeon and was the director of the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (IRPS) at NYU School of Medicine for 30 years, prior to being elevated to full academic department status. He has trained more than 120 residents and 30 fellows in craniofacial surgery, some of whom who have gone on to be directors of plastic surgery units at more than 20 academic medical centers around the world.
Dr. McCarthy is also founding chair of the Medical Advisory Board of Smile Train, an organization that has provided pro bono surgery for more than 300,000 children with cleft lip/palate worldwide.
The Helen L. Kimmel Foundation, Helen L. Kimmel and her late husband Martin S. Kimmel are long-time benefactors of NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU School of Medicine. In addition to the Helen L. Kimmel Chair of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, they created the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Professorships of Molecular Immunology, Pathology and Microbiology, and Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics. Additionally, they established two key research centers including the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine at The Skirball Institute, and the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Stem Cell Biology. In 2008 Mrs. Kimmel provided a $150 million gift towards construction of a new patient pavilion at the Medical Center that will increase NYU Langone clinical space as much as 50 percent. Most recently, the Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Wound Healing Center was established, specializing in treatment for patients with non-healing, chronic wounds.
Mrs. Kimmel has been a Medical Center trustee at NYU since 1984 and is a life trustee of the University.