Drew: Extending Lillian Wald’s Mission

In the 1890s and early 1900s, banker Jacob Schiff was among the first philanthropists to support the vital care that Lillian Wald was delivering in the homes of the poor and sick on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Today, as the Visiting Nurse Service of New York continues to evolve to meet the needs of twenty-first century New Yorkers, Jacob’s great-great-grandson, Dr. Andrew “Drew” Schiff, is adding his own support to that legacy. In recognition of his contributions, which include long service as a VNSNY Board member as well as his generous giving to VNSNY’s charitable care programs, Drew was a featured honoree at VNSNY’s benefit gala in November of 2015.

A physician by training, Drew brings a unique insight to his role with our organization. “I believe VNSNY is both a tremendous institution that’s providing social services to people who otherwise might not get them, and an incredibly important participant in one of the largest trends in medicine—the movement from inpatient to outpatient care,” he says. “With shorter hospital stays and greater care being provided outside the hospital, VNSNY is right at that nexus.”

Drew’s leadership involvement has recently included a focus on VNSNY CHOICE Health Plans, which offers innovative long-term care solutions to help New Yorkers age successfully in their communities. “Insurance wasn’t a consideration when Lillian Wald started VNSNY,” he notes, “but were she around today, she’d surely recognize that lack of insurance is a social service impediment in today’s world, as much as hygiene and cleanliness were in the world in which she lived. She would also understand that providing insurance for elderly ill people is a very important extension of what we do, and a fundamental part of VNSNY’s mission.”

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