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Title
A Love for Philanthropy: The Naming of the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center
Date
January 2, 2018
Article

It is well known that one of the fundamental principles of serving as an Eagle Scout is to always leave a place better than how you found it. This certainly rings true for long-time Eagle Scout and Garden City resident, David R. Doucette, PhD.

Dr. Doucette’s first encounter with NYU Winthrop Hospital (then known as Nassau Hospital) dates back to 1962, when he came to the Hospital for surgery. A then “nervous 16-year-old,” Dr. Doucette was comforted in the Hospital by several familiar faces who knew his mother, Mary Alyce.  At the time, Mary Alyce knitted cancer bandages as a member of the Hospital Auxiliary.

“I was struck by how nice everybody was and how they went out of their way to put me at ease,” recalls Dr. Doucette. “That is a legacy I still see at the Hospital today.”

Two years later, Dr. Doucette’s mother convinced him to become involved with the Hospital as a volunteer. “That led to my claim of being the first male candy striper in Winthrop’s history. I was in Nuclear Medicine with one of the region’s first cobalt machines, an early form of radiation therapy which was being used for cancer care. It was an intense experience and becoming a part of the team that helped comfort patients and their families was a source of great pride for me. I have seen the kindness and warmth of Winthrop from both sides of the counter.”

When faced with healthcare challenges in more recent years, Dr. Doucette, who is a very successful electrical engineer, decided to pause and take an inventory of both his life and resources.

“When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago, I stopped and considered where I was and realized that I should shift my focus to the end-game. It was a sobering evaluation, but led to some important insights,” he said.

Wanting to invest in something with lasting impact, Dr. Doucette selected NYU Winthrop as the recipient of a generous gift in honor of the outstanding medical care he received through the course of his lifetime.

The Naming of the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center | NYU Winthrop Hospital(l-r) E. Ramone Segree, EdD, Vice President of Development at NYU Winthrop; Alan Jacobson, MD, Chief Research Officer at NYU Winthrop; John F. Collins, President and CEO of NYU Winthrop Hospital; David R. Doucette, PhD; Charles M. Strain, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NYU Winthrop; and John Aloia, MD, Chief Academic Officer, at a special ribbon cutting reception to mark the naming of the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center at NYU Winthrop Hospital.

Recently, members of NYU Winthrop Hospital’s Board of Directors, Senior Administration, staff, as well as friends and colleagues of Dr. Doucette, gathered to celebrate this gift at a special cocktail reception, which marked the official naming of the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center. Housed within the Hospital’s new, 95,000-square-foot Research and Academic Center, the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center will undoubtedly impact scores of individuals for generations to come.

“Research endeavors are meant to help everyone,” remarked John F. Aloia, MD, Chief Academic Officer at NYU Winthrop Hospital. “We are very appreciative to Dr. Doucette for his magnanimous gift and know that the physical building in which this Center is housed will increasingly attract great researchers who are working to improve the health of humankind.”

“David Doucette is the pinnacle of what it means to be a philanthropist,” added Alan Jacobson, MD, Chief Research Officer at NYU Winthrop. “He has devoted his time and energy to a great cause.”

In addition to his namesake contribution to the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center, Dr. Doucette’s important prior and planned gifts to the Hospital include funding for Parkinson’s Disease research, supporting the Hospital’s Annual Fund/President’s Circle (which includes over 100 donors who have contributed at the $1,000 level and above), as well as plans for a gift to the Patient Relations Office in honor of his late mother, after whom the office will be named.

The Naming of the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center | NYU Winthrop HospitalDavid R. Doucette, PhD, (center) is joined by his doctors, colleagues and friends to celebrate the naming of the David R. Doucette Clinical Research Center.

“Philanthropy, or a love of humankind, is at the very core of David Doucette,” said E. Ramone Segree, EdD, Vice President of Development at NYU Winthrop.  Dr. Segree, who is also an Eagle Scout, presented Dr. Doucette with a special memento upon the Clinical Research Center’s naming after him.

“From an early age, my mother gave me the ability to spot good investments. Although this is technically a ‘donation,’ I’d like to correct that – I don’t make donations, I make investments, and this is one of my strongest. I’m sure it will fulfill my values of leaving the world a better place than how I found it.”