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2016 GIA Awards for Excellence

Premier Performance: Development

Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund
Brigham and Women's Hospital



Describe your fund.
Gillian Reny, a gifted 18-year-old dancer, was critically injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and rushed to Brigham and Women’s Hospital where a multidisciplinary trauma team saved her life and her legs. The Reny family created the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund in the aftermath of the tragedy to honor Gillian’s caretakers and to fuel innovative trauma research and care.

Judges said:
This is truly a superb project and stellar example of premier performance! Excellent specific goals with impressive results. The breadth of project reach was very impressive—especially the global reach of research project voting. It was an excellent marketing method for educating the public about trauma research discovery.

What prompted you to take this on?
Trauma care is an under-recognized, under-funded medical discipline. The Renys asked hospital leadership what would be the most impactful way to give back. The answer: a fund that would both allocate research dollars to elevate trauma research and care, and create a structure that would accommodate a multidisciplinary approach, ensuring collaboration across individual research silos.

What was the most successful part of the project?
The Stepping Strong Innovator Awards program, which provides $100,000 seed grants for groundbreaking projects in trauma research and recovery, is a highly successful international initiative. To date, $700,000 has been allocated to high-reward, potentially game-changing research projects.

What is one thing you learned from this experience?
One important lesson is the significance of collaboration, both within medical disciplines at the hospital and with the donor family.

Interested in Submitting Your Work?

You’ve spent the entire year creating innovative campaigns, writing articles, organizing alumni and community events, revamping your digital presence, and most importantly, demonstrating the value of your institution to your community.  Now is the time to show off your work and be recognized!

Learn more about the competition with the resources below: