Richard Schwartz, entrepreneur and philanthropist, continues his family’s legacy of giving to the University of Maryland Medical Center. We talked with him about his history with UMMC and what drives him to personally fund key programs and initiatives, most recently with leadership gifts to the Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Campaign and the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
Dedicating the Richard H. Schwartz Family Consultation Room in memory of Dr. Joel Kleinman-June 2015.
How did you and your family become involved at UMMC?
RS: My family’s been involved at UMMC as long as I can remember. My late father, Joseph, and my mother, Corinne, began because of their friendship with Dr. Mort Rapoport, the former CEO. They cared deeply about giving back in ways that would improve the lives of others. As a self-made man, my father really valued the importance and impact of helping people since he had benefited from the kindness of others as he built his business. It’s my privilege, and quite frankly, my obligation to give and carry on this legacy.
What do you feel is most distinctive about UMMC?
RS: Among the many distinctive centers and programs at UMMC, the Shock Trauma Center and the NICU stand out. The groundbreaking concept of the ‘golden hour’ developed by Dr. Cowley has put UMMC on the map as a leader in trauma medicine. Now the NICU is in that league being envied and copied.
You’ve generously supported campaigns for Shock Trauma and the NICU? What drew you to these projects specifically?
RS: I make quick decisions! In all seriousness, Shock Trauma is world-renowned. It’s important that we have that here in Baltimore. My niece is also a trauma surgeon, so I know how important the work they do is. As far as the NICU, I was so impressed seeing mock ups of the new NICU space and hear what it would do for patients and families. I also wanted to honor the memory of my friend, Dr. Joel Kleinman. We were best friends for over 30 years. He was a dedicated family man and physician and what better place to honor him than where babies and their families start out in life? I just knew it was the right thing to do after seeing the NICU. It was a really proud day for me when we dedicated the new unit and room with Joel’s family there.
To learn more about how the new Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is helping patients and families, please click here.