Denver philanthropist Frederic C. Hamilton committed his support for research and patient care at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with a multi-year, $3 million gift in May to support two major campus initiatives.
Hamilton pledged $2 million to the CU Eye Center, which is building a new five-story facility on the Anschutz Medical Campus that will more than double its 45,000 patient capacity and greatly expand research programs. His gift establishes the Frederic C. Hamilton Macular Diagnostics Center Fund to help bring new diagnostic equipment and other equipment to the CU Eye Center.
The energy-industry pioneer and long-time Denverite gave an additional $1 million to the Frederic C. Hamilton Endowed Chair in Endocrinology Research at the CU School of Medicine Department of Endocrinology. The inaugural chairholder is E. Chester Ridgway, M.D., MACP, and professor of medicine. Endowed chairs, of which the University of Colorado has roughly 100, are a public bellwether of faculty accomplishment and help universities recruit and retain top talent.
Hamilton, also known for his contributions and board service to the Denver Art Museum, has been a patient at the Eye Center and wished to express his gratitude to the CU Department of Ophthalmology.
“I chose to make my gift to the Macular Degeneration Center, because I have Macular in one eye,” Hamilton said. “It is the dry kind, untreatable, and a very serious impairment to one’s life. It is vital that a treatment be developed for the future of other persons. I am fortunately in the hands of one of the world’s experts, Dr. Naresh Mandava, and by supporting him and his efforts, I hope to make a difference to people in the future that develop this horrible disease.”
Naresh Mandava, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and department chair, has spent more than 15 years researching age-related macular degeneration—a leading cause of vision loss in people over age 60, for which there are therapies but currently no cure—and other retinal diseases.
Mandava has focused his research on new technologies in imaging, drug therapy and artificial vision. As executive director for the University of Colorado Eye Center, he has pioneered retina stimulation concepts that have the potential to restore sight in blind people.
“Frederic Hamilton’s generosity to establish the Frederic C. Hamilton Macular Diagnostics Center will enable us to provide the most advanced treatment for our thousands of macular degeneration patients and build important clinical capacity to serve many more patients into the future,” Mandava said. “In addition, Mr. Hamilton’s gift will expand our age-related macular degeneration research program by acquiring the state-of-the-art equipment necessary for us to build the best retinal research program in the world. Mr. Hamilton is a true friend to the Eye Center and a steadfast supporter of our mission to help improve vision and restore patients’ sight.”