We celebrated our 23rd annual gala in a magnificent new venue, the exclusive Metropolitan Club in New York City. We honored Thomas F. Secunda, Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and Member of the Management Committee of Bloomberg, LP, whose extensive philanthropy through the Secunda Family Foundation covers a broad spectrum of interests. The Secunda Family Foundation focuses on improving community life in two ways: supporting the development and improvement of public lands and national parks and enhancing the reach and depth of museums and cultural institutions. Other gifts are awarded to support medical research (from which among others, we have benefited) and to Jewish causes, particularly programs designed to fight antisemitism. Most recently, effective relief to and restoration of facilities in the US Virgin Islands accelerated their recovery from the devastation wreaked by Hurricanes and Irma and Maria.
Because of the generosity of the Secunda Family Foundation grant, we awarded a year of research funding to Doctor Gabrielle Page-Wilson, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, who is studying how the endocrine glands regulate metabolism and energy balance, which is different in men and women. She is focusing specifically on developing mechanisms to address the side effects of steroid use, which include diabetes, cataracts, osteoporosis and weight gain. Our close collaborators at the Johns Hopkins medical school benefitted from a second award from the Secunda Family Foundation gift; it will support the work of Doctor Kathryn Fitzgerald, Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Doctor Fitzgerald is studying the differences in how men and women experience multiple sclerosis.
We are proud of the achievements of our own Foundation, which so many scholars and philanthropists have worked so hard to make possible. In particular, we would like to thank our chairwoman, Marlene Kurz, who for the second year in a row has made this gala a reality. Her gift of the spectacular flowers that adorned the Club’s rotunda, her choice of entertainment and her imaginative, energetic leadership in recruiting record-breaking support for the gala made every detail of this celebration perfect.
Thanks to all of our supporters; you are an invaluable, brilliant group to whom we look for the advice, funding and guidance that makes this effort possible.
Dr. Marianne Legato, Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer, and specialist in gender-specific medicine. She is founding member of the International Society for Gender Medicine and also the founder and director of The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University and its next iteration, The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine. These enterprises are the first collaborations between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender and sex. Her ground breaking textbook on Gender-and Sex Specific Medicine has been published in 2017 in the 3rd edition.
She has published extensively on Gender and Sex Specific Medicine, both scientifically and for the lay public. She is also the founding editor of the journal Gender Medicine, and the Journal Gender and Genome, published for the scientific community. In 1992, Dr. Legato won the American Heart Association’s Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease. She is a practicing internist in New York City and has been listed each year in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” since the feature’s inception in 1993.