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$1.5 million gift to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

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Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

A $1.5 million gift from the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation will enable Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford to move forward with plans to create the first and only pediatric outpatient dialysis center in the state. In recognition of this gift, the center will be named for Rosenheim, a Connecticut resident who died in 2015.

“This extraordinarily generous gift from the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation will be instrumental in creating the state’s first pediatric outpatient dialysis center,” said Jim Shmerling, Connecticut Children’s president and CEO. “With this support, families will no longer need to travel out of state to receive these services. We will be able to provide essential care for children who require outpatient dialysis while awaiting kidney transplants in an environment that is designed entirely for children. The generosity of the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation has enabled this invaluable addition to the compassionate care Connecticut Children’s provides and we are deeply grateful to them.” 

“We’re just so grateful that the institution and the state have taken it upon themselves to make this a priority,” said Cynthia Silva, M.D., division head of nephrology and medical director of Connecticut Children’s Center for Kidney and Bladder Disorders.  “It is time that we take better care of the more vulnerable children in our population and put their needs first.”

Rosenheim began his career in advertising in New York as a television airtime buyer. After learning the business, he went out on his own, selling advertising for a football highlights show in the 1960s. Eventually, he established Robert Rosenheim Associates, a media brokerage firm working with various television networks and customers.

He lived in Sharon and also owned a horse farm in upstate New York raising champion horses for harness racing. He had no children of his own or surviving family when he died in 2015. His foundation was set up so that his estate could support the two causes he cared about most: children and animals. The foundation officers felt that the pediatric outpatient Dialysis Center at Connecticut Children’s was a natural choice and that as the first and only facility of its kind in the state, it represented an appropriate tribute to his memory. 

“Connecticut Children’s is a perfect fit,” said Michael Samartino, the president of the Rosenheim Foundation and Rosenheim’s long-time accountant. “When I was first presented with the idea of a naming opportunity for the Dialysis Center, I spoke with several pediatricians who all assured me that it was a much-needed facility in Connecticut. Bob was more than just a client. He was an extraordinary man and we feel good knowing his legacy will live on at Connecticut Children’s.”

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation. It is a not-for-profit organization, which serves as the primary pediatric teaching hospital for the UConn School of Medicine, has a teaching partnership with the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University and is a research partner of The Jackson Laboratory.

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