Hofstra Receives $61 Million Donation for Medical School

 Barbara and Donald Zucker
Barbara and Donald Zucker

HEMPSTEAD, NY — Hofstra University and Northwell Health announced the naming of the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in recognition of the couple’s long-time support.  Their recent gifts, totaling $61 million, will support the next generation of health care professionals in medicine, research and nursing, and includes:

  • $50 million to create a permanent endowment to be used exclusively to provide scholarship support to students in the Zucker School of Medicine.
  • $10 million to create and endow the Barbara Hrbek Zucker Emerging Scientists Program at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research to help prepare postdoctoral fellows for successful careers and to identify, promote and nurture early career faculty to develop highly productive, visible and important research programs.
  • $1 million to provide scholarship support for students at the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies.

Over the past three decades, the couple’s generous philanthropy has also supported Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, NY, Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, the Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine in Manhasset, NY, and numerous other initiatives across Northwell Health. These most recent gifts make Donald and Barbara Zucker Northwell Health’s leading lifetime donors.

Donald Zucker owns his own Manhattan-based real estate firm that manages apartments and retail properties.

“More so than any other donors in our history, Don and Barbara Zucker have been extraordinary supporters of causes where we have historically struggled to get financial support, including behavioral health programs,” said Michael J. Dowling, president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health. “Their latest gifts are a testament to the Zuckers’ leadership as philanthropists who recognize the vital role of medical education and research in transforming the future of medicine.”

Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz said: “Almost a decade ago, we set out to create a new model of medical education that would improve health care in our region and today we mark another milestone in that journey. The Zuckers’ support solidifies and expands our commitment to train innovative physicians whose backgrounds and experiences are as diverse as the people they treat.”

Launched in 2008, the Zucker School of Medicine was the first allopathic medical school to open in New York State in more than 40 years. Hofstra  and Northwell have been equal partners in establishing and operating the School of Medicine, an institution built upon the strong clinical and graduate medical education programs of Northwell Health, and the robust research and academic programs of Hofstra University and the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

This dynamic collaboration has transformed medical education through the creation of an innovative curriculum that integrates academic course content with hands-on clinical experiences throughout the four-year program. It is a new approach to learning that combines the biomedical, biopsychosocial and clinical medicine needed to prepare tomorrow’s health care professionals — starting on the first day of medical training. With an enrollment of 400, the Zucker School of Medicine had more than 7,000 applicants vying for 100 slots in 2016.

“From the inception, the medical school has been close to our hearts,” said Donald Zucker. “Barbara and I feel it is incumbent on us to help young people achieve their dreams to be a physician. We, who have been so fortunate together, love doing this.”

Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals throughout the NY metro area, over 550 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. Northwell has 62,000 employees and headquarters in Great Neck, NY.