Medical College of Wisconsin
Press Release

Kern Family Foundation Invests $50 Million to Transform Medical Education and Profession of Medicine

Gift Renews Support for the Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine and the Kern Institute at the Medical College of Wisconsin

By - Jun 23rd, 2022 01:29 pm

Milwaukee, June 23, 2022 – The Kern Family Foundation is renewing its support for making transformational advancements in educating medical students and in the medical profession with a $50 million gift to the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). The gift accelerates efforts by the Kern National Network for Caring and Character in Medicine and the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education.

“The Foundation is delighted to renew our support in the visionary leadership at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the teams working to integrate character, caring, practical wisdom, and flourishing into the training of physicians and other health professionals,” said James Rahn, president of the Kern Family Foundation.  “Since their launch in 2017, the Kern Institute has become a catalyst for transformation within MCW and a recognized thought leader in medical education, while the Kern National Network has begun to coalesce a network of leaders and institutions that is poised to grow and impact the practice of medicine, the lives of healthcare professionals, and the communities they serve.”

“This transformational investment will help us reshape the profession of medicine to benefit learners, physicians, and their patients,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president and CEO of MCW. “The generosity and leadership of the Kern Family Foundation supports our shared commitment to driving fundamental changes to how patients and families receive medical care and moves us further toward our goal of advancing health for all through human flourishing, character and caring.”

The $50 million gift designates $10 million as a matching opportunity to inspire additional support from philanthropists and foundations with an interest in transforming medical education and the profession. Total giving from the Kern family and the Kern Family Foundation for the institute and network now stands at $87.9 million, including a $37.9 million investment in 2017 that originally launched the Kern Institute and the Kern National Network. A $1 million gift from former MCW Board Chair Steve Roell and his wife Shelagh endowed a chair for the director of the Kern Institute, now held by Adina L. Kalet, MD, MPH.

“The Kern Family Foundation has been a vital and visionary medical education partner,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, the Julia A. Uihlein, MA, Dean of the School of Medicine and MCW’s provost and executive vice president. “Their vision for medical education that elevates thriving and purpose for physicians and patients alike is helping us transform how clinical learning environments, practice settings, and health systems advance the health of our communities.”

The Kern Institute is dedicated to transforming faculty, students, and curriculum, as well as fostering culture and systems change in medical education. The Kern National Network is catalyzing national leaders to transform clinical learning and practice environments, as well as influencing policy and culture change through its integrated framework for character, caring, practical wisdom and flourishing in medicine. The network is led by Cheryl A. Maurana, PhD, MCW’s senior vice president for strategic academic partnerships, professor, and founding director of the Kern National Network.

In addition to MCW, the Kern National Network founding member schools are Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Since the start of 2022, local and national philanthropists have announced philanthropic investments of more than $114.2 million for MCW and the Froedtert Hospital Foundation, including gifts for rare cancers research, patient care programs at Froedtert Hospital, and advancing precision medicine. The Office of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Relations works with donors and MCW alumni to accelerate efforts by both institutions to train the next generation of healthcare and research professionals and secure healthier communities for patients and families now and in the future.

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