Menorah Heritage Foundation is more than a funder, we incubate projects with our donor families & our community.
Below are our current projects:
Dr. Sherri Lynn Brown (1954-2005) was a beloved daughter, sister, wife and mother, and a well-respected scientific researcher and medical oncologist, whose life ended in February, 2005, from complications of multiple sclerosis. Her death left a void in the hearts of those who knew her and loved her. Sherri’s dedication to advancing medical breakthroughs and compassion for patients and their families shaped much of her life, both personally and professionally.
To honor Sherri’s legacy as a physician, science officer, and role model with an indomitable spirit, Sherri’s family established the Dr. Sherri L. Brown Fund at the Menorah Legacy Foundation.
The Dr. Sherri L. Brown Fund provides life-saving medications for cancer patients throughout metropolitan Kansas City who might be jeopardizing their treatment because they do not have the financial resources to cover these expenses. Since the inception of the Dr. Sherri L. Brown Fund, hundreds of medications have been purchased for cancer patients at the University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center and Truman Medical Center. Many of these patients were facing the most difficult health challenges of their lives. They would not have been able to receive timely and potentially life-saving drugs without the assistance provided by the Dr. Sherri L. Brown Fund. Their inspirational stories confirm that this type of assistance is invaluable.
It is no accident that the Dr. Sherri L. Brown Fund was established at the Menorah Legacy Foundation. Sherri’s father, Bernard H. Brown (1927-2011), spent many decades of his life with Menorah at the top of his priority list. He was a former President and Chairman of the Board of Menorah Medical Center and also served as President of the Menorah Medical Center Foundation. Remembered as “a force to be reckoned with,” Bernard worked tirelessly to bring Menorah to a new location and to prepare for changes in health care delivery. Bernard’s focused leadership and determination to carve a future for Menorah and to improve local health care underlies the inception of the Dr. Sherri L. Brown Fund.
Trustees: Kim Fader and Bruce Brown
Quote: “We are proud and honored to perpetuate Sherri and Bernard’s legacies through the Dr. Sherri Lynn Brown Fund.”
Current Projects: The University of Kansas Cancer Center to support its existing patient assistance programs. Truman Medical Center oncology pharmacy assistance.
In memory of his wife Anna Strauss, Harry Strauss established the Harry B. Strauss and Anna C. Strauss Menorah Advancement Fund in 1976. The purpose of the Fund was to to sustain and supplement the research, scientific and educational activities of the hospital.
Harry Strauss was an active board member of the Menorah Medical Center serving as vice president of the building committee. Although he was busy running his family steel business, he was known for his dedication to the expansion of the hospital and was often there daily overseeing the latest project. His son Leonard followed in his fathers footsteps, working in the family steel business and serving the longest term as the board president from 1966 to 1976. His brother Eugene who was in the insurance business wrote insurance for the hospital. Eugene’s wife Gerre served as President of the Menorah Womens Auxiliary from 1980-1982.
Once the Menorah Legacy Foundation separated from Menorah Hospital Leonard and Eugene renamed the Fund to the Strauss Family Fund and refined the focus to support health care, health education and wellness in the greater Kansas City area. In 2005, Eugene assumed the role of Trustee. In memory of his son Frank who died at age 50 from complications following an epileptic seizure, Eugene makes regular contributions from the Fund to the Epilepsy Foundation and to Saint Luke’s Neurological Institute.
Trustee: Eugene Strauss is the Trustee of the Fund. Susan Feld Strauss, Leslie Ann Strauss, Sally Strauss, Barbara Strauss Bullis.
Current Projects: Village Shalom, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Saint Luke’s Hospital Neurological Institute and the Epilepsy Foundation of Missouri and Kansas.
The “Henry A. Auerbach Memorial Fund” was established in 1949 by Mrs. Henry Auerbach and her daughter, Mrs. Ruth Auerbach Hirsch in memory of Henry Auerbach, their husband and father. Henry Auerbach was one of the hospital’s founders and the second president of the board of directors serving from 1929-1936. Henry worked tirelessly to build a Jewish hospital in Kansas City modeled after other leading Jewish hospitals throughout the country. Henry believed a Jewish hospital was critical as he recognized that many Jewish patients were uncomfortable in non-Jewish surroundings and knew that area hospitals had staff quotas for Jewish physicians
The original gift was $6,000 in Commerce Bankshares given to the Jewish Memorial Hospital, Menorah Medical Center’s predecessor. The income from the fund was to be used to support the health care needs of indigent children. In 1968, Mrs. Hirsch established the “Auerbach-Deutsch Memorial Fund for Indigent Children.” In 1985, at the request of Mrs. Hirsch’s daughter, Rosine Hirsch Helzberg, the two funds were combined into the “Auerbach-Hirsch Fund” and broadened to include all indigent patients.
Henry’s dedication to his community was passed on to his children and grandchildren. His daughter Ruth’s husband Clarence served on the first board of directors. His grandson Robert Hirsch oversaw the investment and allocations of the Auerbach Hirsch Fund. His granddaughter Rosine Helzberg was an active member of the Menorah Women’s Auxiliary and her husband James was on staff at Menorah. His great grandchildren Susan Helzberg Sloman and Dr. John Helzberg, children of Rosine and James, currently oversee the allocations of the Auerbach Hirsch Fund. Susan and John have shared this history with their children and expect that they will assume the responsibility for the Fund in the future.
Mi Shebeirach avoteinu v’imoteinu,Avraham, Yitzchak v’Yaakov, Sarah, Rivkah,Rachel v’Lei-ah, hu y’vareich et hacholim[names]. HaKadosh Baruch Hu yimaleirachamim aleihem, l’hachalimam ul’rapotamul’hachazikam, v’yishlach lahem m’heirahr’fuah, r’fuah shleimah min hashamayim,r’fuat hanefesh ur’fuat haguf, hashtabaagala uviz’man kariv. V’nomar: Amen.
May the one who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless and heal those who are ill [names]. May the Blessed Holy One be filled with compassion for their health to be restored and their strength to be revived. May God swiftly send them a complete renewal of body and spirit, and let us say, Amen.
Current Projects: Support care for indigent residents at Village Shalom and patients at Saint Luke’s Hospital.
Trustees: John Helzberg, MD and Susan Helzberg Sloman, Katherine Sloman Herrick, James Henry Helzberg, Jamie Ruth Sloman and Elizabeth Morgan Helzberg.
In October, 1964 the Gus and Mike Johl Fund for Clinical Research was created from multiple donations in memory of Gustav Johl.
Gustav and Mike Johl were twin brothers who were born in Germany and moved to the United States in 1939. Mike settled in Philadephia and Gus moved to Kansas City. Gus was the owner of Rosenstock and Johl, Inc, a Kansas City cattle company. Gus suffered from kidney disease and received one of the first kidney transplants in the country using a kidney donated by his twin brother Mike. Gus was married to Betty and they had three children, Jeff, Judy and Justin.
In 1988 the family changed the name of the fund to the Gus, Judy and Mike Johl Fund Memorial Fund. Judy Johl was Gus and Betty’s daughter who suffered from kidney problems, was on dialysis and died from melanoma at age 36. In 2010, the name and purpose of the fund were broadened to the Johl Family Kidney and Cancer Research Fund.
Jeffrey Johl also suffers from kidney problems and lives in Chicago, Illinois. After he was hospitalized in 2014 and then discharged without any follow up care from the hospital or doctors, his brother Justin and wife Bev, who live in Kansas City, realized how little help can be provided for family members who live in another city without any support group. The Johl family believes that if they can help other ill persons who live in Kansas City without a family support group this would be a worthwhile and helpful use of the Funds. The program will also be of some comfort to those family members who do not live in Kansas City but know that someone will be initially contacting their loved ones to follow up on their care and needs.
Trustees: Justin Johl and Jeffrey Johl
Johl Transitions of Care – a unique approach to providing support to “high-risk” discharged hospital patients who have little or no family support in the area. The goal is to reduce readmissions to the hospital and visits to the emergency department, increase timely follow-up visits to physicians, improve understanding and use of medications and achieve a higher quality of life.
Once a “high-risk” hospital patient is identified, a Care Manager will visit the patient prior to discharge, and again when the patient gets home. Depending on the need, the Care Manager can help the patient understand his/her discharge instructions, help the patient understand his/her medicines and ensure they will be picked up, help schedule the patient’s follow-up physician appointment, arrange for transportation home from the hospital and/or to and from the follow-up physician appointment, schedule additional Care Manager visits to the home and arrange for in-home caregiving.
Dr. Daniel Aks and his wife Dori were tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1986. Their children Howard Aks M.D., Cynthia Aks D.O., and Robert Aks established the Dr. Daniel and Doris Aks Memorial Fund designated to support Menorah Medical Center, especially the gynecological laser program, education and research. The following year the children established the Dr. Daniel and Doris Aks Chair for Medical Education to fund an annual award to an outstanding medical/surgical resident. The award was later amended to include postpartum and obstetrical nurses. That same year the fund was further expanded to provide an all-day nursing continuing education forum for OB/GYN nurses throughout the greater Kansas City area. In September 2005, due to the acquisition of Health Midwest by the Hospital Corporation of America, the funds were combined into the Aks Family Fund to support health care, health education and wellness in the Greater Kansas City Area.
“Dan and Dori were both advocates of education and the benefits that it brings. Our father was an instructor, educator and mentor to many young adults seeking professionalism. He loved molding medical students, interns and residents into compassionate, competent and respected physicians. He had the utmost respect for the nursing profession and always looked at health care delivery as a team effort. Our mother devoted her entire life to charity and helping those that were less fortunate. They both inspired their children to follow the same path. The Aks children desire to continue their parent’s legacy by funding programs regarding healthcare, education and wellness.”
Trustees: Howard Aks, MD, Cynthia Aks, MD and Robert Aks.
- Saint Luke’s Nursing Scholarship. Twice a year a nursing student is chosen by the faculty based on academic performance and financial need. The monies are meant to help with the high cost of nursing education.
- Saint Luke’s Student Success Center. This is a new service as part of their nursing school. The Center staff will work with those students who have been identified through their first semester grades as needing additional support to overcome personal barriers and/or social determinants that could inhibit their success in completing their nursing degree.
Dylon Jason Madgy Memorial Scholarship Fund. In 2011, Dylon Madgy, the youngest of Cynthia Aks’s triplets passed away. A memorial fund was established in Dylon’s memory at Shelterwood Academy – the area’s premier therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens. Shelterwood, established in 1980, has for more than 30 years provided a place where teens can be sheltered from the intensity of their adolescent years, freeing them to work through their personal issues as they grow in a safe environment until they can be reunited with their family in the home. The Shelterwood staff has a deep-seeded commitment to treating the whole child and the whole family.
They recognize change has to come from the inside out and seek to treat the deep-seated heart issues underlying the teen’s behaviors. Their safe, loving environment offers a wide variety of therapeutic interactions through individual, group, and family counseling, recreational therapy, and one-on-one mentoring. Their fully accredited high school also offers specialized support to help the teens build confidence in their academic abilities and establish goals for their educational future. Monies from the Fund provide tuition assistance so that troubled students can learn effective coping mechanisms before they make a choice that could result in tragedy.