Medical College of Wisconsin receives $2 million in gifts for Parkinson’s research

Endowed chair will honor late Baird CEO Fred Kasten

Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin has received $2 million in gifts to establish the G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research in honor of the former Baird president, chief executive officer and chairman.

Baird leaders, employees, community leaders and the company’s corporate and community partners contributed to the donation.

Fred Kasten

Kasten died in December 2019 after a battle with Parkinson’s. He led Baird as its sixth president between 1979 and 1998. He also served as a member of MCW’s board of trustees from 1996 to 2008.

“Fred Kasten embodied the strong firm culture established by Robert Baird and others who followed, including a deep commitment to community service and giving back,” said Steve Booth, president and chief executive officer of Baird. “The G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Endowed Chair in Parkinson’s Disease Research is a fitting tribute to Fred and his legacy of caring for others. We’re pleased to partner with friends of Fred and Susie Kasten and MCW to make it a reality.”

MCW said the endowed chair will help recruit a beacon physician-scientist to the college and accelerate research in the fight against Parkinson’s, while also strengthening clinical programs related to the disease.

The Parkinson’s program at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin currently treats more than 2,500 patients annually.

“This generous gift will serve as a powerful tool to offer hope for individuals with this complex neurological condition,” said Dr. John Raymond, president and chief executive officer of MCW. “We are humbled and thankful for the opportunity to sustain and grow our Parkinson’s Disease clinical care and research.”

The gift contributes to MCW’s multi-year $225 million Hope to Health fundraising campaign.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.