Wyss Center for Innovation, Inc. Contributes to Neighborhood Nursing

The Wyss Center for Innovation, Inc. is a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives and empower communities. The Foundation was established by Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss native who came to the United States in the 1960s to attend Harvard Business School—from where he graduated in 1965. With his American education and passion for discovery, Wyss started a successful medical orthopedic company headquartered in West Chester, Pa., whose products have helped millions of patients recover from skeletal and soft tissue trauma and injuries.

In 2013, Wyss joined Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and other leading philanthropists in signing The Giving Pledge, through which he has committed to giving away at least half of his wealth to charitable causes. “I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and feel I have a duty to repay my good fortune through philanthropic endeavors that expand the reach of human possibility and compassion,” Wyss said in signing the pledge.

Practical and innovative by nature, Wyss’s philanthropy fosters new ideas, new tools, and new collaborations in areas ranging from medicine to education, the arts to conservation, and economic opportunity to social justice.

One of the initiatives supported by the Wyss Center for Innovation, Inc. is the La Salle Neighborhood Nursing Center, a community-based wellness center managed by a Public Health Nurse Coordinator and further supported by University staff and faculty. For over 25 years, the Center has provided public health nursing and social services to at-risk, low-income populations. The Center’s services are entirely implemented by the Public Health Nurse Coordinator, a full-time nurse, and undergraduate and graduate nursing students, who deliver extensive health education, immunization programs, screenings, and resources and referrals to connect adults, senior citizens, and families to the services they need to live healthier lives. 

“The School of Nursing and Health Sciences is committed to advancing an Inter-professional Education agenda that includes teaching, practice, and research. Thanks to the generous funding from the Wyss Center for Innovation, Inc., the La Salle Neighborhood Nursing Center has become the hub of this activity,” said Kathleen Czekanski, Ph.D., RN, CNE, Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. “Students from all of our disciplines are able to practice in this dynamic environment as they synthesize classroom content and apply knowledge to their respective clinical practices while caring for the most vulnerable of our community members.” 

In 2016 and 2017, the Neighborhood Nursing Center received significant grants from the Wyss Center for Innovation, Inc.—one for $100,000 and another for $125,000. The funding enables the Neighborhood Nursing Center to implement programs that promote self-care, provide screenings to guide individuals in their community toward timely follow-up care, and connect individuals and families with medical and other health resources.