At 8 years old, Donald Zucker left his first philanthropic footprint when his mother drove him door-to-door to deliver food to less fortunate neighbors during Passover. Today, Donald and his wife Barbara’s footprints can be found across Northwell Health and beyond.
Less than a decade after Northwell Health and Hofstra University partnered to open a radically innovative medical school, Don and Barbara donated $61 million in transformational gifts to support our future doctors, nurses and researchers. Their extraordinary generosity created a $50 million endowment to provide scholarship support for students at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, created and endowed the Barbara Hrbek Zucker Emerging Scientists Program at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and provided scholarships for nursing students.
In 1999, the couple emerged as advocates for mental health care. Their insight and generosity allowed Northwell to build and open an ambulatory care pavilion and a new inpatient pavilion at Zucker Hillside Hospital, which was named in honor of their support. Don also took an active interest in the innovative work of John Kane, MD, senior vice president for Behavioral Health Services and chairman of Psychiatry, who has developed advanced technologies for treating schizophrenic patients and others living with mental disease.
The Zuckers have advocated for advancements in Alzheimer’s research by establishing the Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders, where nearly two dozen scientists study the disease at every level — from basic biology to clinical trials.
Don and Barbara’s footprints are also seen across Northwell Health’s Manhattan institutions where they have supported capital improvements at Lenox Hill Hospital and a variety of innovative clinical research programs.
Their extraordinary generosity is a testament to the Zuckers’ leadership as philanthropists who recognize the vital role of education and research in transforming the future of medicine.