Baptist Health South Florida, Baptist Health Foundation

Baptist Health Foundation Celebrates $3M Gift to Establish Endowed Chair at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute

January 18, 2023

MIAMI, FL – January 18, 2023 – On Wednesday, December 7th, Baptist Health Foundation hosted a ceremony and dinner at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in celebration of the Irma and Kalman Bass Endowed Chair in Clinical Neuroscience at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute, supporting the work of Michael McDermott, M.D., chief medical executive at the Institute. More than 80 guests attended the event, which was highlighted by the formal presentation of the chair to Dr. McDermott. The Endowed Chair in Clinical Neuroscience will help provide Baptist Health patients with innovative treatments for brain, spine and nervous system disorders.

Earlier this year, the Bass family provided a $3 million gift to establish the chair and further the mission of the Institute. The gift commemorates the 75th wedding anniversary Kalman and Irma Bass.

“We are extremely grateful to the Bass family for this generous gift,” said Alex Villoch, chief executive officer of Baptist Health Foundation. “This is a beautiful tribute to Kalman and Irma Bass, who are passionate about supporting our community. Their legacy will be instrumental in improving outcomes for patients and helping the Institute provide world-class brain and spine care center in South Florida.”

Funds from the endowment will go towards to funding annual clinical and basic science research projects each year; publication and statistical / analytical services; travel for students and junior faculty; travel for senior faculty for platform presentations at regional, national and international meetings; and other Institute needs.

“It is a profound honor to accept and hold this chair,” said Dr. McDermott. “I sincerely thank the Bass family for their extraordinary generosity in supporting neuroscience at Baptist Health. We look forward to growing our research and education programs so that more patients and clinicians at the Institute can benefit.”

“This is a transformational gift for Dr. McDermott as well as Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute,” said Jack Ziffer, Ph.D., M.D., executive vice president and chief clinical officer, chief physician executive for Baptist Health. “Not only will it help us expand access to advanced brain and spine care for patients in South Florida and beyond but will also enable us to attract the best neuroscience physicians and experts from around the world who seek an environment excelling in clinical care, research and education. The gift creates a very important moment in the evolution of this fast-growing, high-performing Institute.”

Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute provides the most comprehensive and innovative techniques to diagnose and treat the brain, spine and nervous system. The Institute embraces a multidisciplinary approach to patient care, from nonsurgical treatments and minimally invasive procedures to complex brain and spine surgery. As national leaders in the treatment of movement disorders, the team at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute ensures that patients receive the most innovative treatment options to provide the best quality of life possible.

Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute is a Joint Commission Certified Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Institute’s epilepsy program is accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a level 4 epilepsy center, the highest level possible; and the Intraoperative Monitoring Department received the top-tier accreditation from the Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring Laboratory Accreditation Board of ABRET — the first in Florida, one of 27 in the U.S. and one of only 30 in the world to achieve this accreditation.

About Baptist Health Foundation

The mission of Baptist Health Foundation is to inspire philanthropy and build extraordinary donor relationships in support of excellence, innovation, community wellness and global leadership in healthcare at Baptist Health South Florida. Through philanthropy, the Foundation supports and expands Baptist Health’s ability to provide outstanding patient care and bring the latest treatments to patients and families affected by a serious illness. Donor contributions also allow the Foundation to assist Baptist Health facilities in keeping pace with technology and equipment advances, perform cutting-edge research and offer continuing education opportunities to medical staff. Learn more at

About Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 12 hospitals, more than 26,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Baptist Health has internationally renowned centers of excellence in cancer, cardiovascular care, orthopedics and sports medicine, and neurosciences. In addition, it includes Baptist Health Medical Group; Baptist Health Quality Network; and Baptist Health Care On Demand, a virtual health platform. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to its faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence, Baptist Health has been recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and by Ethisphere as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. For more information, visit and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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