Corporate social responsibility seems to be a hallmark of RPM International, where support for Cleveland Clinic has been steadfast.
Recently, RPM International CEO Thomas C. Sullivan and his wife Sandra, together with RPM International, committed $1.5 million to establish the Thomas C. and Sandra S. Sullivan Family Endowed Chair for Colorectal Surgery. The gift benefits the Department of Colorectal Surgery by supporting inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research and education at Cleveland Clinic.
It will help further researchers’ understanding of the causes, diagnosis and management of IBD, including the two most prevalent kinds: Crohn’s Disease, which causes scarring and thickening of the intestinal walls, and ulcerative colitis, which causes ulcers in the bowel.
Better Armed to Battle IBD
These diseases affect nearly 1.4 million Americans. Better Armed to Battle IBD Scott Strong, MD, a surgeon in the Department of Colorectal Surgery, will be the fi rst holder of the chair, made in honor of Mr. Sullivan’s late sister, Patricia Sullivan Schriner.
For many years, Mrs. Sullivan Schriner was treated at Cleveland Clinic for Crohn’s Disease.
“It is a distinct honor to be the first holder of the Sullivan Family Chair, which I accept on the behalf of the multidisciplinary teams that dedicate their time and energy to battling these horrible diseases,” Dr. Strong says. “This generous support will allow us to expand our current investigative efforts,” he adds.
A Tradition of Helping
The Sullivan family and RPM have a strong tradition of supporting Cleveland Clinic. Mr. Sullivan serves on Cleveland Clinic’s Board of Trustees, while he and Mrs. Sullivan also serve as Vice Chairs for Cleveland Clinic’s $1.25 billion philanthropic campaign, Today’s Innovation, Tomorrow’s Healthcare.
“Cleveland Clinic has been a part of our family’s lives for a long time,” Mr. Sullivan says. “We are happy to establish this Chair to show our gratitude for the patient care that Cleveland Clinic has provided to us and our family.”
Tom’s son, Frank Sullivan, speaks about his family’s legacy of helping others.
“My parents have always believed the more people have, the more they have an obligation to give back. They created this Chair out of respect and appreciation for the heritage and the relationships that our family has had for three generations at Cleveland Clinic,” he says.
Story originally featured in Catalyst, Winter 2006.