Honoring Inspiring and Dedicated Volunteers
Helping Us Save Babies' Lives
2013 R Baby Hero: Marcel Herbst
R Baby Board Member for 5 years
Andrew and I will never forget first meeting Marcel. We were in a van on the way to a dinner at a hedge fund conference, when a refreshingly upbeat, friendly conference participant started chatting with us about 20 different, interesting topics within minutes. By the end of the 15-minute van ride, we knew for sure that Marcel was a well-rounded, intelligent, witty person. We knew that his kind and genuine demeanor ensured that he meant what he said and did what he meant. As our conversations continued after this first night, we both knew he would be a great addition to R Baby Foundation.
During our conversation, we shared our story with him. We discovered that Marcel has a similarly harrowing tale in his past. Before our ride was over, he committed "on the spot" to helping us in any way that he could. And that is exactly what he has done ever since! He immediately and effectively started connecting us to other philanthropic sources, donors, many business contacts, and volunteers. As a truly kindred spirit to our cause, he set out to help in any way he could so that other families could benefit from improved healthcare for infants.
Gratefully, he agreed to join our Executive Board. He gave, and continues to give, valuable advice at every meeting and whenever we need it. Marcel not only comes up with strategic ideas throughout the year, he is also willing to roll up his sleeves and do the work to make it happen. A great example of this was in 2010 when Marcel decided to throw a holiday party in honor of R Baby. The "Jingle Ball 2010" brought hundreds of new and current R Baby supporters together, and created many advocates and long term relationships. As the driving force, he sought to push the event through efficiently and effectively. And that he did! The event was sold-out with more than 500 people gathered to support us, raising a significant sum. A testament to Marcel's value to our organization is that event happened less than 10 days after he brought up the idea.
More recently, in 2012, he was one of our event chairs for R Baby's 5 Year Anniversary Gala at the Plaza Hotel, and he supported it with dozens of participants and many unique auction items and sponsorships. His wife Ilona also committed her passion and energy to the cause and invited many participants, while his son Nate asked his teacher to do a mail-shot throughout the Greenwich school system.
Currently, Marcel is helping us mentor a new Swiss baby charity, Foundation Marisa Sophie (see next spread) showing again how willing he is to put his expertise and amazing hard work toward our cause when unique opportunities present themselves.
Promoting R Baby is never far from his mind as he meets new people, and he quickly converts them to support our cause. Marcel is a generous, self-less person, a valuable, productive Board Member, and we are honored to call him our friend.
— Phyllis and Andrew Rabinowitz
2013 Medical Hero:
Dr. Marc Auerbach & Dr. David Kessler
Given R Baby's entrepreneurial spirit, our first R Baby Medical Hero Award will go to a young team of doctors that has been helping us since the very first year and who continue to work extremely hard and tirelessly above and beyond what our funding has been. I first met Dr. Marc Auerbach and Dr. David Kessler at NYU Langone to discuss their grant application of infant mannequin simulation training. They both far exceeded my expectations with their passion and drive. What I thought would have been an hour meeting turned into hours and hours of a discussion around their vision of pediatric emergency care including issues in the industry, ideas for solutions, and long term collaborative ways to break down the walls between hospitals to get everyone to work together efficiently.
After R Baby's first year of raising funds, we knew we had to be very strategic and selective with which grants and doctors we decided to grant monies to in order to show results to donors and continue to build a solid foundation for R Baby’s future work. R Baby received many applications and we met with many physicians but these two doctors stood out to me for reasons that wound up providing many benefits. Their dedication to their field of medicine, pediatric emergency care, is so amazing − the POISE/INSPIRE network of simulation training has been a proven success in over 100 hospitals and growing, and both doctors continue to advise R Baby on a continual basis - at any given hour!
When Marc left for Yale Hospital and David for Columbia University Medical Center / New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, we didn't even worry that their R Baby work would suffer. Instead we knew that they both would have their new hospitals embrace our cause even further. That is exactly what happened! Andrew and I recently met with Dr. George Lister, the new Chairman of Yale School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. He is a supporter of Marc's latest vision of R Baby's Sim-Mobile, a collaboration of top Children's Hospitals who will asses and train neighboring community hospitals in mock emergency settings with parent actors. Sim-Mobile doctors will have a checklist of guidelines to see where gaps are and will assess, re-train and re-assess to help get as many ERs ready for children as possible. Dr. Lister not only supported R Baby's initiatives but also agreed to join our Medical Advisory Board, which now includes many leaders in the healthcare industry.
As for David, he also has been an incredible advocate continuing our great work at Columbia and collaborating with Dr. Joel Berezow to integrate two powerful training networks so we can efficiently reach more doctors and create a larger library of content. David continues to lead the POISE/INSPIRE network with Marc and he is also always there when we need him. They both have spoken at international conferences for these R Baby grants and continue to work hard to improve the healthcare for as many children and babies as possible. They both embrace every opportunity to improve pediatric emergency care and their creativity, passion and enthusiasm are boundless.
Marc and David went above and beyond to make sure that our programs were highlighted as part of the Gala’s R Baby in Action Center helping to secure the ambulance/ Sim-Mobile that greeted guests and brought residents and doctors to interact with guests. None of that was part of their grants, yet it shows their willingness to help in any way they can to spread our shared mission. Most importantly, these two doctors have proven that vision, passion and drive can really make a difference in this world.
— Phyllis Rabinowitz, R Baby Co-Founder