|United Hospital Fund Honors Trustee Elizabeth McCormack|
Elizabeth McCormack has spent much of her life asking the hard questions. She has rallied and worked for many philanthropic efforts. In 2008, at the age of 86, McCormack formed the Partnership for Palliative Care and developed a board of medical, philanthropic, business, and community leaders who share her passion for palliative care and fearless embrace of needed change.
Now at 90, McCormack doesn't show any signs of slowing down her fight. The Partnership is extending its efforts, promoting the inclusion of palliative care into more health care settings so it is available from the time of diagnosis through the entire arc of illness, whatever the setting. With its work to also increase public awareness and demand for palliative care—ramping up its social media campaign as the centerpiece of that mission—it is simultaneously focusing on the need for more trained health care professionals.
For her dedication to the advancement of palliative care, and all she has achieved and continues to rally for, The United Hospital Fund honored the former Manhattanville College President and Trustee with its 2012 Distinguished Community Service Award at its annual black-tie gala, held recently at New York City's Waldorf Astoria.
"Every hospital should offer palliative care, and every person should know what it is and what it isn't," McCormack said when accepting her award. "The Partnership stands ready to help by promoting public awareness and by telling the story of palliative medicine, which gives hope of a better life for so many in the human community."
Established by The United Hospital Fund in 1987, the Distinguished Community Service Award recognizes volunteer leadership that significantly improves health care in New York City. For a seventh year, the Distinguished Community Service Award has been sponsored by TIAA-CREF, America's leading provider of retirement services in the medical, academic, research, and cultural fields.
"In guiding the Partnership with her abiding vision, intelligence, and drive, she is strengthening the critical effort to ensure that all who need palliative care will benefit from the comfort and dignity it provides," Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF said of McCormack when presenting her with the award.
Approximately 700 attended the event to witness McCormack receive the award. Among those in attendance were Gail Sheehy, New York State Commissioner of Health Dr. Nirav Shah, Assemblyman Micah Kellner, Betsy Gotbaum, James and Merryl Tisch, and a who's who of New York's health care community.
McCormack '44 earned her doctorate in philosophy from Fordham University and served as President of Manhattanville College from 1966-74. For 40 years, she has served as philanthropic advisor to the Rockefeller family. Her past and current board memberships include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Atlantic Philanthropies, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and a number of colleges. She has received honorary degrees from seven distinguished schools, Brandeis, Princeton, and the American University of Paris among them.