Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Honor Dr. Francis X. Walsh at Benefit Dinner

The Friends of Nathaniel Witherell brought together Greenwich community leaders and citizens to honor Dr. Francis X. Walsh, a 45-year member of the Witherell’s medical team and its current Medical Director, at a special dinner held on Thursday, November 1st at the Greenwich Country Club. The sold-out event raised over $90,000 to create quality of life programs for Greenwich senior citizens that live at the Witherell. Town of Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei provided a special proclamation for Dr. Walsh to recognize his service to the Witherell.

When accepting his tribute, Dr. Walsh told attendees that he was overwhelmed by the turnout and commented that “The Witherell is a great place. You may not realize it but they have practically no staff turnover – maybe 6% a year compared to the industry average of 50%. When that occurs, you know that the quality of care goes way up.” He also praised the Witherell’s strong volunteer corps. “There are over 300 volunteer which is also a stable number. They do so much from art and music to providing companionship. It’s wonderful to see.”

The evening’s program also featured special guest speaker Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D., Jackson Laboratory Associate Professor, Envin Family Chair in Alzheimer’s Research. Dr. Kaczorowski’s research is focused on understanding how the brain changes as we age so that cognitive decline may not be an inevitable part of growing older.

During her presentation, Dr. Kaczorowski noted that her research is focused on “getting to the mechanism of how well we age. Some people remain mentally sharp; others struggle.” She said that in experimenting with mice, her team is able to determine which brain neurons are “resilient” (they remodel after damage) and which continue to decline as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease. “Individual genetic differences strongly influence the risk and severity of the development of Alzheimer’s Disease,” she said. Until therapies are developed and approved by the FDA, she advises that to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, stick to a healthy diet, exercise, and maintain an active social life.

Event sponsors for the evening included Wernert Construction, Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich Magazine/Moffly Media, Medline, Select Rehabilitation, The Caregiver Resource Center, GHP Printing, J.P. Morgan, and Raintech.

Photos from the event follow.

(l-r) David Ormsby, Chairman Friends of Nathaniel Witherell; Catherine Kaczorowski, Ph.D., keynote speaker; Judy Evnin and Tony Evnin.

 

 

Dr. Francis X. Walsh, honoree; Laurence B. Simon, The Nathaniel Witherell Board Chairman.

 

Jonathan Moffly, Bea Crumbine, Maria and Trey Kelsey

Suzanne Hogan and Louise Puschel

Debby Lash, Alice Melly, Brian Scanlon, and Mary Rolla

Lindsay Ormsby, David and Anne Ogilvy

Ed Omondi, Claire Omondi, and Mark Chrostowski, MD

Jonathan Moffly, Donna Moffly, Alexandra Walko, and Stephen Walko

Steve Cunningham, Laura Cunningham, and Barrett Burns

Bill Deutsch, Fran Deutsch, and Patricia Burns

Sandy Litvak, Joanna Swomley, and Jim Lash

James Butler, Lucy and John Barrett, Judy Evnin, Margot Butler, and John Gibbons

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