A vice chairman of Quinnipiac University’s Board of Trustees and his wife, both alumni of the university, have donated $1 million to endow a chair in Quinnipiac’s new Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine.
The university has established the William and Barbara Weldon Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine. Quinnipiac will match the Weldons’ gift, creating a $2 million fund in perpetuity.
“The William and Barbara Weldon Chair in Rehabilitation Medicine will provide the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine with outstanding leadership and ensure the immediate launch of an institute that will help address the rehabilitative needs of our veterans,” said Bruce Koeppen, founding dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine and vice president for health affairs. “As we welcome our first class and officially dedicate the medical school, the Weldons’ generosity not only provides the financial resources we need, but also signals the endorsement by two of the university’s most outstanding alumni.”
William Weldon is the retired chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. He and his wife, the former Barbara Dearborn, attended Quinnipiac together after graduating from Ridgewood High School in New Jersey. They graduated from Quinnipiac in 1971.
Quinnipiac also announced that it will establish the Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine, which will build upon the university’s strength in physical therapy and occupational therapy and utilize the state-of-the-art motion analysis laboratory located in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on the North Haven Campus.
The institute will be home to the Center for U.S. Veterans’ Rehabilitation, which will focus on providing services to U.S. veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including reintegration assistance, physical therapy and occupational therapy assistance, and educational guidance. Since 2009, Quinnipiac has been a participant in the “Yellow Ribbon Program,” which is a provision of the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act.
“Quinnipiac University played a big role in our lives and we want to make sure that it continues to grow, prosper and make a real difference,” said Bill and Barbara Weldon. “Endowing a chair that will be held by the leader of a new institute dedicated to helping health care professionals and patients better understand rehabilitation medicine is the most significant way we can support our alma mater. In addition, initiating a center that will help U.S. veterans with much needed services is absolutely essential as we strive to reintegrate and rehabilitate a generation of wounded warriors who have given so much to our nation.”
Quinnipiac President John L. Lahey said, “Bill and Barbara continue to be extremely generous and active alumni. Bill’s 40-plus years in health care with one of the world’s most admired and innovative companies has been incredibly helpful during the process of opening a new medical school. Both Bill and Barbara have provided valuable advice and counsel and their generosity to establish a chair in rehabilitation medicine is truly sensational.”
The Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine is located in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on Quinnipiac’s North Haven Campus with the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences. The three schools are united not only in the same state-of-the-art complex but by the same mission: to graduate medical and health care practitioners who will be the driving force for a more collaborative, economical and efficient health care system. With the addition of a medical school, Quinnipiac is now educating the triad responsible for primary care—the physician assistant, nurse practitioner and physician.
St. Vincent’s Medical Center of Bridgeport, is the medical school’s principal clinical partner. It also has affiliations with Middlesex Hospital of Middletown, MidState Medical Center of Meriden, Waterbury Hospital, and Jewish Senior Services, The Jewish Home of Fairfield. Hartford Hospital is a research partner of the medical school.
The school is named for Dr. Frank H. Netter, a world-renowned medical illustrator whose drawings and atlases have educated medical students for decades.