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Miracle Makers: Howie Jacobson

Outstanding Commitment by an Individual

Howie JacobsonHowie Jacobson is hard to miss with his iconic bolo tie and incredibly warm personality. For more than 14 years, Jacobson has acted as an outstanding ambassador for improving children’s health in our community through his work as the board chair at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Jacobson’s creativity and strong connection with members of the community have helped elevate awareness of and recruit supporters for our region’s only children’s hospital.

Jacobson is passionate about the care Golisano Children’s Hospital provides for children in our community. In 1995, Jacobson’s son was injured in a terrible bicycle accident and was airlifted to Golisano Children’s Hospital, where he was treated by Walter Pegoli, M.D., chief of pediatric surgery. Jacobson had been involved with the hospital before that, but seeing his own son receive the quality care Jacobson had heard so much about was a pivotal juncture in the relationship he would take on with Golisano Children’s Hospital. Jacobson joined the children’s hospital’s board shortly afterwards and accepted a leadership role as chair of the board in 2004.

“To many in the Greater Rochester region, Howie Jacobson is the recognizable face of Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital and chair of Pediatrics at URMC (2006-2017).  “He has selflessly devoted his time and considerable energies to the children and families we serve.”

The creativity Jacobson has exercised throughout his work with Golisano Children’s Hospital has been undeniable. For example, in 2001, Jacobson organized the Horses on Parade project, a community project that brought beautifully designed horses from local artists into the community and raised more than $100,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital. In 2003, Jacobson helped coordinate the Animal Scramble, another animal-centric art project, which generated funds for local charities, including nearly $30,000 for Golisano Children’s Hospital. The two local art initiatives are just two of the many nuanced projects Jacobson orchestrated to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Jacobson is and always has been a connector. “He knows everyone in town and can get them energized and motivated,” said a fellow board member, Mark Siewert. “As board chair, Howie’s leadership, compassion and enthusiasm have really moved us forward.”

Jacobson’s charisma and ingenuity have opened the doors to all sorts of possibilities for encouraging the community to get involved including corporate promotions, community-wide events and donations. Jacobson’s auctioneering style has also brought an enormous amount of energy to the annual gala’s live auction, which Jacobson has chaired for the past several years.

“I have been humbled by the fact that I work with an amazing board and get to be a cheerleader throughout the community for the doctors, the nurses and the staff that work at the hospital 24/7,” said Jacobson.

Golisano Children’s Hospital is extremely grateful for the unique and powerful impact Jacobson has brought to his work with the children’s hospital’s board and the community as a whole. We are honored to award him with the Miracle Maker Award for Outstanding Commitment from an Individual.