Kessler Brothers Donate $1 Million to Strong Hospital for Trauma Unit

January 09, 1998

Rochester restaurant owners Laurence and Dennis Kessler have always been committed to community service and have been generous supporters of Strong Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department for many years. This year however, that commitment to the community and to Strong goes beyond generosity -- the Kessler brothers are donating $1 million to the Regional Trauma Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Strong's Trauma Unit, renamed the Laurence and Dennis Kessler Regional Trauma Unit, in honor of its supporters, will be enlarged and relocated to another area of the hospital by the turn of the century. The Kesslers' donation will be used in this relocation/renovation process and also to purchase medical equipment upgrades.

"We are truly grateful for this generous gift from the Kesslers," said Jay H. Stein, M.D., senior vice president and vice provost for health affairs at the University of Rochester Medical Center. "It gives us the means to expand and upgrade our emergency services and that will give us the ability to serve more patients with the highest quality care possible."

"Our current emergency department was built before trauma and the 'chain of survival' type of care was fully implemented, and because of that, our space has become limited," said Sandra M. Schneider, M.D., director of Strong's Emergency Department. "The Kesslers' generous donation will help us to build a trauma area double the size of our current facility and allow us to treat a greater number of patients. Since trauma is the number one killer of teens and young adults, the Kesslers' support comes at an opportune time. Strong is very grateful to them for their donation."

In addition to the increasing number of traumas every year, Strong has become the regional trauma center for the Finger Lakes region of New York State, thus adding to the number of emergency patients seen each year in Strong's Emergency Department.

"The Kesslers' help in giving this hospital its equipment and the ability to expand its trauma care area is tremendous," said Steven Goldstein, general director and chief executive officer of Strong Memorial Hospital. "This is a very special kind of support for which we are deeply appreciative."

The Kesslers' initial involvement with Strong Hospital began through the annual Burger King Halloween French Fry Promotion, now in its seventh year. Each October since 1990, Burger Kings throughout Rochester, the Finger Lakes region, and the Southern Tier have sold $1 coupon booklets redeemable for six free orders of french fries during November. The coupon booklets are sold during October as an inexpensive alternative to Halloween candy for trick or treaters.

"Our family has been fortunate enough to find success in the Rochester area and our way of thanking the community for its support is to give something back in return," said Larry Kessler. "Strong Memorial Hospital is a vital resource to many people in this part of the state and we are proud to support its important services."

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