Philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss Donates $15 Million to Enhance Access to Comprehensive, State-of-the-Art Care for Adults & Children
International businessman and philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss has made a generous $15.1 million gift to establish a charity care fund within the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone that will provide the highest quality of reconstructive plastic surgery care to underserved, underinsured, and uninsured adults and children.
The groundbreaking Hansjörg Wyss Charity Care Fund—one of the only programs of its kind—will help eliminate disparities and barriers of care, regardless of a patient’s age, geographic location, or socioeconomic status.
“We have a long, respected history of creating and advancing plastic surgery techniques that improve patients’ outcomes and overall quality of life, which has made NYU Langone a premier destination for advanced reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery,” says Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS, chair of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery and the Helen L. Kimmel Professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Health. “The Hansjörg Wyss Charity Care Fund enables us to provide greater access to world-class care for those who have the greatest need.”
To celebrate Mr. Wyss’ momentous gift, a reception was held April 25, 2019, at NYU Langone’s Kimmel Pavilion, attended by Markus Börlin, Ambassador and Consul General of Switzerland in New York; Giorgio Pompilio, Deputy Consul General; Robert I. Grossman, MD, the Saul J. Farber Dean and CEO at NYU Langone; Kenneth G. Langone, chair, Board of Trustees at NYU Langone; and the entire faculty and staff of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery.
Dean Grossman greeted guests in attendance and thanked Mr. Wyss for his contributions, “Not only will the fund help underwrite surgeries and medical care, it will also support patients as they navigate their care from arrival to departure.”
Patients who are potential candidates will be evaluated by a departmental committee and depending on a patient’s individual situation, support may include travel, accommodations, hospital stay, surgeries, and inpatient and outpatient clinical care. Conditions to be treated include deformities that are caused by trauma, cancer, illness, or birth.
The gift will also allow the department to hire dedicated nursing and administrative staff to care for an increased number of patients, and support psychosocial and outreach services to help patients reintegrate back into society.
“The Charity Care Fund is yet another example of his [Mr. Wyss’] commitment to our medical center and to helping people who need it most,” adds Mr. Langone. “We’re thrilled to welcome Hansjörg Wyss to the NYU Langone Health Board of Overseers.”
For more than 30 years, Mr. Wyss has served as CEO of Synthes, Inc., a well-known medical research and device manufacturing firm whose products have helped millions of patients recover from skeletal and soft tissue trauma and injuries.
Over the past several years, Mr. Wyss has supported NYU School of Medicine with gifts totaling approximately $50 million, in support of the Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery as well as NYU School of Medicine’s historic tuition-free initiative.
“When you are able to make a lot of money, by luck and with the help of others, [I believe] you have a duty to give it back,” says Mr. Wyss. “I want to give it to good causes, and give it to people who have the personality, drive, and intelligence to create something outstanding.”