Physicians Hall Front

Medical College of Wisconsin Receives Gifts Exceeding $2 Million from Baird and Community Leaders

Endowed Chair Established in Honor of Former MCW Trustee, Former Baird Chairman, President & CEO G. Frederick Kasten, Jr., to Accelerate Parkinson’s Disease Research

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 25, 2020 – Today, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) announced it has received gifts exceeding $2 million from leaders, employees, corporate and community partners of Baird and community leaders in memory of G. Frederick Kasten, Jr., former Baird President, CEO and Chairman, who passed in December of 2019 from Parkinson’s disease. These gifts establish the G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research.

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating neurological condition that affects nearly one million people in the United States, with approximately 60,000 new patients diagnosed each year. More than 15,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in Wisconsin alone.

The endowed chair honoring Kasten’s legacy will help recruit a beacon physician-scientist to MCW and accelerate research advances in the fight against Parkinson’s, as well as strengthen Parkinson’s disease clinical programs so MCW physicians can provide the latest medical treatments to more Wisconsin patients.

Endowed faculty chairs are the gold standard for recruiting world-class basic and clinical research faculty and is one of the highest honors an academic institution can bestow.

“This generous gift will serve as a powerful tool to offer hope for individuals with this complex neurological condition,” said John R. Raymond, Sr., M.D., president and chief executive officer of MCW. “We are humbled and thankful for the opportunity to sustain and grow our Parkinson’s Disease clinical care and research.”

“Fred Kasten embodied the strong firm culture established by Robert Baird and others who followed, including a deep commitment to community service and giving back,” said Baird president & CEO Steve Booth. “The G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research is a fitting tribute to Fred and his legacy of caring for others. We’re pleased to partner with friends of Fred and Susie Kasten and MCW to make it a reality.”

The Parkinson’s program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin currently treats more than 2,500 unique patients per year with comprehensive services including movement disorder clinical expertise, state-of-the-art treatment technology, and innovative research investigating the root causes of and next era of treatment for Parkinson’s.

An influential community leader, Kasten dedicated his time, talent and resources to institutions and organizations throughout the Milwaukee area including serving as a member of MCW’s Board of Trustees from 1996–2008. In addition, he was honored with the Warren P. Knowles Humanitarian Award in 2004. The award honors an individual or organization with a commitment to health-related issues and whose work reflects a dedication to public service and education.

The gift will contribute to MCW’s Hope to Health fundraising campaign, a philanthropic initiative aimed at building healthy and thriving communities. Priorities of the campaign include accelerating research and advancing patient care, driving health and vitality with our community, transforming healthcare education, and leading the way in cancer research and care.

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