Health Care Access

“He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” ~ Thomas Carlyle

We cannot reasonably expect to build strong communities without promoting the physical and mental health of individuals. Health is the one area of human experience which has the power to render anyone vulnerable, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, or family income. The William & Sheila Konar Foundation is committed to improving access to comprehensive, patient-centered care, especially for members of society already vulnerable in other ways.

Long after the Foundation was created, Bill and Sheila Konar experienced the value of innovative health care firsthand. Bill’s experience with Alzheimer’s Disease led Sheila to look for existing resources in the community, and to promote new ones in response to clear needs.

Funding Priorities

  • Research and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Increasing accessibility to health care, including palliative and geriatric care
  • Improving patient experience through person-centered care
  • Health and wellness programs that seek to increase awareness of the mind-body connection and promote better decision-making to improve physical, mental, and social well-being
  • Programs that support the treatment of eating disorders
  • Medical education and clinical research programs

Select Grantees

A gift from the Konar Foundation created an endowed professorship at the University of Rochester to support clinical research into new ways to treat or prevent diseases of the brain that affect memory, thinking, behavior, and mood. This endowment supports the U of R Alzheimer’s Disease Care, Research, and Education Program (AD-CARE) and its Memory Disorders Clinic, a program recognized nationally as among the top Alzheimer’s clinical research programs in the nation. Since 1986, AD-CARE physicians and their patients have taken part in virtually every large study of a potential Alzheimer’s medication. Rochester is also one of the top participating sites in the nation in the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study group, a collaboration of scientists who work together to test new treatments for the disease.

The Konar Professorship in Geriatrics, Palliative Medicine, and Person-Centered Care at Highland Hospital was created to enhance patient-centered care, especially for the elderly and complex patients. This award advances work to improve the health of the geriatric population and the patient experience through medical provider education, utilization of advances in information technology, the establishment of dashboards and metrics, a redesign of care delivery systems, and effective role modeling.

Since its founding in 1947, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts has been committed to providing adults and children with cancer with the best treatment available today while developing tomorrow’s cures through cutting-edge research. A Konar Foundation grant supports the Institute’s research devoted to improving the safety and efficiency of CAR T-cell therapy, as well as selecting the best candidates.

Other Foundation grants have helped to support the William and Sheila Konar Center for Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the Wellness and Rehabilitation Institute at Nazareth College, and programs for local Alzheimer’s patients and their families such as Music, Mindfulness and Motion at the Jewish Community Center.