Generous Donation Made in Support of the CP Center’s Core Mission
Hal and Linda Ritch recently made a generous donation to the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center (WFCPC) at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, in support of the CP Center’s core mission of improving the lives of those with cerebral palsy through clinical care, research, and education. The Ritch family originally connected with the CP Center/Weinberg family via their son. Both the Ritch and Weinberg families each have a son with the same rare congenital disorder that is diagnosed under the larger umbrella of cerebral palsy. Hal ended up joining the advisory board of the Weinberg Family CP Center some time later and has been involved with the Center ever since. We recently sat down with Hal to ask a few questions about his family’s most recent support of the CP Center.
Q: Why do you give?
My wife and I have a personal belief set in supporting those who need assistance around the world. We had the economic means to take care of our son in dealing with his congenital rare disorder, but it was still very tough. Over the years our son has had lots of surgeries - 23, I think at this point - and it was no walk in the park. We know what it is like to endure many of the things parents and families are going through at the Center, so it was a natural reaction for us to want to help and that’s why we gave.
Q: What are the support goals of your donation at the Center?
A: Across the board we support all the objectives of the CP Center, but especially the lifespan service the CP Center offers, which is one thing we struggled with as our son grew older. From our own experience, we recognize how important lifespan care is. A Center that would provide healthcare to older CP patients was music to our ears. We are strong believers in teaching hospitals like Columbia University Irving Medical Center and with the combination of education, research, and first-class health services for this population, we wanted to give. Cerebral palsy has been in the backwater when it comes to the medical world, and we are proud of the Weinbergs for wanting to help do something about that.
Columbia and the Weinberg Family CP center are doing something really special. They are bringing this need of care to the forefront. Thousands are touched by the diagnosis of CP since it is such a broad diagnosis. It is not as well researched as other conditions perhaps partly because of it’s scope. It is also not a focal point of the medical school curriculum to the extent that it should be, but we are supportive of the manifold aims of the CP Center, not just one thing in particular.
The Ritch family has been an incredible partner to the WFCPC. They have given their time, their deep understanding of finance, and their personal perspective on living with CP. They have also been incredibly generous in their giving to the Center. The resources from their recent commitment will help to advance our tripartite mission of medical care, research, and education,” said Dr. Jason Carmel, Executive Director of the Weinberg Family CP Center.
Hal and his family are involved in many other organizations locally and globally. They bring their knowledge and breadth of experience as parents, community members, and leaders to the Weinberg Family CP Center board. Gifts like the one from the Ritch family are crucial to the growth and sustainability of the Weinberg Family CP Center.