Richard (Rick) T. Aab, a University of Rochester trustee, has made a $3 million commitment to the Golisano Children’s Hospital Building Fund, bringing his total support for The Meliora Challenge, the University’s $1.2 billion comprehensive campaign, to $7 million.
Aab’s commitment to the Children’s Hospital Building Fund is an expression of his deep friendship with Tansukh Ganatra and the Ganatra family. Aab, a serial entrepreneur, and Ganatra co-founded US LEC Corp., a telecommunications company based in Charlotte, N.C., as well as several other successful telecommunications companies during the past 30 years. In recognition of Aab’s generosity, the University will name the atrium in the new Golisano Children’s Hospital the Ganatra Family Atrium.
“Rick Aab is a valued friend of the University and Medical Center who has provided incredibly generous support as well as steadfast leadership toward the fulfillment of our mission,” said Joel Seligman, president of the University of Rochester. “As our clinical leaders envision the programs and facility needs that enable us to deliver groundbreaking research and medical care, Rick is helping us to make these ambitious plans a reality.”
The new Golisano Children’s Hospital will be dedicated on May 27, 2015 and will open on July 14. Construction funding was led by commitments like Aab’s and supported by gifts from more than 8,500 individuals and community groups.
“Ensuring that children have access to the best possible health care is a cause that’s very important to me,” said Aab, who is vice chair for the University’s Campaign Cabinet and co-chair of the URMC campaign. “Construction of an all-new children’s hospital has long been a vision for the URMC. I’m proud to have been part of the years of planning, advocacy and community funding campaign that have made this significant achievement possible. It has been very gratifying to work alongside the leadership of the University and the URMC as they have established the leading children’s hospital for my hometown of Rochester and the entire region.”
“We are at a milestone in Golisano Children’s Hospital history,” said Nina Schor, M.D., Ph.D., the William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “With this new building, for the first time we will care for children in a hospital designed and built especially for their unique needs, as well as the needs and comfort of their family members. URMC’s child health facility will take its place among the nation’s leading children’s hospitals.”
Golisano Children’s Hospital provides care for more than 74,000 patients and their families each year from the 17-county Finger Lakes region and beyond. The new hospital’s inpatient rooms include state-of-the-art patient care technology as well as thoughtful design details for children and parents. Each room on inpatient floors, and in the Gosnell Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, provides space for adult sleeping accommodations so parents can comfortably spend the night in their child’s room. Additional features include a dedicated pediatric imaging suite and “sibling rooms” that enable children from the same family to be cared for in one space.
“Rick’s generous gift will make a lasting contribution to the quality of care and breadth of services we are able to deliver to the children of Rochester and the region,” said Mark B. Taubman, M.D., CEO of URMC and UR Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We are grateful for the vision and leadership he provides as a trustee and for his deep commitment to our community and to the URMC. His generous support makes it possible for us to expand our health care services today and develop new treatment options for future generations.”
In 2007, Aab made a $4 million commitment to support the URMC’s Cardiology Research Institute. The University recognized his generosity by naming the institute the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute, for which Aab has been a board member since 2008. Aab joined the University Board of Trustees in 2001, two years after he became a member of the URMC Board, where he serves on the Health Affairs Committee and the Research and Innovation Committee. He is also a charter member of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society.
Aab is president of RTA Associates, LLC, and CEO of Idea Boxx, an innovation technology consulting company that conceptualizes, designs, and manufactures products that will improve and make a transformational impact in different industries. Aab’s friendship with Ganatra began in 1985, when Aab recruited Ganatra to work at ACC Corporation, a company Aab founded.
“Rick has been a wonderful mentor and collaborator to me and a treasured friend of my family,” said Ganatra. “He has deep compassion for children and their families who are facing health issues, and has been very supportive of my family. On behalf of my wife, Sarla, and son, Rajesh, I thank Rick for his support of the new children’s hospital and for dedicating his wonderful gift in our honor.”
In February, UR Medicine announced the Ganatra family’s $1.5 million commitment to create the Tansukh, Sarla and Rajesh Ganatra Professorship in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the URMC. The commitment is part of the family’s long-time support of Pediatric Cardiology at the URMC.