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A few years ago the Society made a decision to expand our support of children, always a historical part of our original mission. Through two new initiatives we help children in New York in need, as we have always done, and for the first time ever, we provide support to the children of our homeland. The proceeds from our Awards Gala, honoring Scots of great contribution to both our community and to the world, are shared generously with two children's hospitals, one in the city we Scots have done so much to build, and a second in Glasgow.
Our financial gifts to each hospital have been significant, in the hundreds of thousands to each. The Society gives away more than half of the proceeds raised at the Gala dinners, keeping a small portion to help those almoners recipients we already support. Perhaps even more important than the financial gifts we give to the hospitals is the medical collaboration we have fostered between the staffs of these two world class healthcare institutions. Cross-Atlantic meetings and symposiums have brought new and fresh insights, benefiting the doctors, and in turn, providing better care for the children.
Children's Hospitals Supported by the Society
New York Presbyterian | Komansky Children's Hospital
The first Board Chair of New York Hospital, founded in 1769, was a former President of our Society, John Watt. That first Board included other members of the Society, all were founders, of the second oldest hospital in the colonies. Presbyterian Hospital was founded later, in 1868, with money and land from James Lenox, son of Robert Lenox, another former President of our Society. James was the first Board Chair and remained so for many years. In 1887 Presbyterian, under his leadership, opened the "Babies' and Children's Hospital."
The two hospitals merged (Presbyterian had by this time joined with Columbia University to form Columbia Presbyterian) in the 1990's to become New York Presbyterian (NYP).
Funds gifted by the Society have been applied in multiple ways. One very important way is the purchase of simulation equipment allowing doctors to first learn and become proficient on robotic equipment. A technologically advanced piece of equipment in their training facility, a mannequin, is now dressed in a kilt. The hospital is quite confident they are the only hospital in the world with such a smartly dressed teenage boy known as Andrew.
The Royal Children's Hospital | Glasgow, Scotland
This hospital, formerly and still fondly known to many as Yorkhill, was founded in 1882. The renaming was recent coupled with a move to a new, nearby, modern, child-friendly campus that is part of the National Health System (NHS) in the United Kingdom.
Like NYP, the Royal Children's Hospital in Glasgow with a reputation for excellence is a world class facility known through out the United Kingdom and beyond. Over 160,000 babies and children are treated each year.
The application of funds has been for multiple purposes, such as, to help train and support doctors in their constant search for improved treatment techniques as they provide greater care to the children and comfort to the families of those children.