On November 21, 2011, The Burke Medical Research Institute dedicated its library to Mr. Harvey Kelsey, a long time supporter of the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Burke Medical Research Institute. Mr. Kelsey, a Rye resident served on the hospital board of directors from 1983 until 2001. During this time, “Mr. Kelsey’s support, guidance and vision helped Burke Rehabilitation Hospital through times of challenge and change” said Burke CEO and Executive Medical Director, Mary Beth Walsh, MD., during the formal presentation. The ceremony was attended by approximately 70 people including several members of the Kelsey family as well as Burke employees and a special guest and keynote speaker, Clifford Saper, MD, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School.
Kelsey served on the boards of Burke for more than 25 years – tirelessly supporting and lending his expertise to The Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and The Burke Medical Research Institute. In addition to his own philanthropy toward Burke, he was instrumental in securing ongoing funding from the Goldsmith Foundation for one of the most important of Institute initiatives, the Goldsmith Fellowships. These fellowships are designed to provide financial support for emerging, young scientists to pursue research targeted at improving neurological disability.
Burke has received $1.6 million in support for these young fellows over the years. An important metric of its success has been the leveraging of this donation for more than 3.5 million dollars in NIH and other foundation funding and the launching of more than half a dozen careers at Burke. Mr. Kelsey also served on the Burke Medical Research Institutes’ board of directors from 1990 through 2009. According to Rajiv R. Ratan, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director of the Burke Medical Research Institute, “Mr. Kelsey’s vision has been instrumental in ensuring the continued success of the Research Institute.” “He also worked tirelessly to help secure and maintain funding for ongoing research projects at the Institute,” Ratan added.
As part of the formal ceremony, a portrait of Kelsey was commissioned for the dedication. The oil painting by local artist Paul Dillon was unveiled at the conclusion of the event. It now hangs in the library that bears the benefactor’s name. All of us at the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and Burke Medical Research Institute are grateful for Mr. Kelsey's years of service and support.