The Palliative Care Program at Yale Cancer Center (YCC) has received a $1 million gift from the Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation.

Directed by Jennifer M. Kapo, M.D., associate professor of internal medicine and chief of palliative medicine at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven, the Palliative Care Program focuses on managing symptoms and quality of life issues for adult patients with serious, chronic, progressive, or terminal cancers at the hospital. The donation will support the program’s services, research, and palliative care fellowships. “We are very grateful for the generous support of the Milbank Foundation and for their confidence in our vision to build palliative care, education, and research over the coming years to benefit our patients and their families,” Kapo says. “This gift will ensure that we have the resources needed to help train the next generation of palliative care physicians, and to provide for the palliative care and end-of-life needs for all of our patients.”

Kapo came to Yale from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012 to build the Palliative Care Program into a model clinical service that provides world-class, comprehensive supportive and palliative care to patients and their families who face cancer and other serious, life-threatening illnesses.

“A commitment to care with dignity at end of life says much about our humanity as a society,” says YCC Director Thomas J. Lynch. M.D., the Richard Sackler and Jonathan Sackler Professor of Medicine and physician-in-chief at Smilow Cancer Hospital. “The Milbank gift sets a terrific example of supporting efforts to help patients and families deal with some of life’s hardest experiences. With their support Yale will be well on its way to establishing one of the nation’s very top palliative care units for patient care, education, and research.”

The Milbank Foundation for Rehabilitation was created in 1995 to realize the vision of philanthropist Jeremiah Milbank (Yale College 1909) to integrate people with disabilities into all aspects of American life. His grandson Jeremiah Bogert, of the Yale College Class of ’63, currently serves as the Foundation’s chairman. Bogert’s father, brother, and son, Jeremiah Jr., are also Yale graduates (Classes of ’34, ’60, and ’89).

“My grandfather, Jeremiah Milbank, was one of the great philanthropists of his time,” says Bogert. “We are proud of our historic ties to Yale and honored to follow in his philanthropic footsteps by supporting the Yale Palliative Care Program.”