Spotlight on the Legacy and Contributions of the Klein Family

It all began in 1952. When Albert Einstein Medical Center was created, Julius Klein was among the community leaders in Philadelphia who came together to form the first Board of Trustees. Over the years, Julius continued his service on the Board of Trustees, and later held positions as President, Chairman of the Board, and Lifetime Chairman. His enthusiasm for the Einstein Health Network and the services it provided the community was contagious. Other members of the Klein family soon joined Julius in supporting Einstein, including Julius’s wife Eleanor, as well as his siblings, nieces, nephews, and his own son Robert. For five generations now, the Klein Family has been dedicated to working with the Einstein Healthcare Network to make a difference in the health and wellness of patients. Five generations of Klein family members have been involved with Einstein in different roles, serving as executive leaders, board members, volunteers, ambassadors, philanthropists, and dedicated supporters.

In addition to their legacy of giving back to their community through service to Einstein, Klein family members have provided many significant gifts to support the important work being done across Einstein Healthcare Network. The legacy of the Klein family is found in the many capital projects which are both a testament to their love of Einstein, its history, and patients, like the  restoration and re-dedication of Einstein’s historic Henry S. Frank Synagogue and the design and construction of  the Klein Family Garden, a welcoming space for patients, families, and caregivers, as well as the Samuel and Minna Daniel Klein Professional Office Building which houses some of Einstein’s exceptional health care programs like the Center for Advance Liver Disease and Transplantation.

Einstein Healthcare Network and MossRehab are fortunate to be affiliated with the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), founded in 1992 by Myrna F. Schwartz, PhD, and John Whyte, MD, PhD. The goal of the Institute was to consolidate research activities happening at MossRehab and cultivate new initiatives in rehabilitation research. Not long after MRRI began its work, Judy Klein Franken, daughter of Julius Klein, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She realized the treatment options available at the time (primarily dopamine replacement therapies and deep brain stimulation) were limited, and she wanted to be part of the effort to develop new and innovative treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Judy began dedicating her time to volunteering as a research participant and, to date, she has participated in 17 research studies.

More recently, Judy’s nephew Peter Klein was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. When Peter realized that MRRI and MossRehab were interested in developing a groundbreaking new model of integrated Parkinson’s research and care, he quickly took action. Peter, Judy, and other members of the Klein family came together to bring this initiative to fruition.

In 2019, the Klein Family Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center was established at MossRehab as the first integrated rehabilitation program to use research-supported clinical interventions for rehabilitation in people with Parkinson’s disease. Within its first year, the Klein Family Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center has made tremendous strides integrating innovative research from MRRI with world-class rehabilitation services from MossRehab to help people with Parkinson’s disease remain active and maintain a high quality of life. To that end, we have combined efforts with MossRehab to establish a database of patient volunteers who are interested in participating in Parkinson’s-related research at MossRehab, modeled after their successful stroke and TBI Research Registry. Currently enrolling research participants, this effort creates valuable opportunities for patients to participate in pioneering research studies led by investigators within MRRI. In addition, a major emphasis of the Klein Family Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center is to facilitate evidence-based care through in-depth analysis of current clinical practices and their impacts on patient outcomes throughout Einstein Healthcare Network.  

We are grateful for the generous support provided by the Klein family which has allowed us to establish the Klein Family Parkinson’s Rehabilitation Center to advance scientific and clinical knowledge about Parkinson’s disease and serve as an important resource for patients and their families. The Klein family’s philanthropic contributions were further recognized in 2019 with receipt of the Multigenerational Family Achievement Award from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Their nomination was initiated by Einstein Healthcare Network. Looking forward, the legacy of the Klein family at Einstein continues as we are proud to have Julius’s great-grandson Sam Klein serving as a member of the Einstein Healthcare Network Board of Overseers.

Donations of all sizes help support important research at MRRI as well as clinical activities across Einstein Healthcare Network. Philanthropy and service are great ways to engage with your community, and the Klein family has shown how the spirit of giving back to the community can be a uniting force that spans generations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.