Fern and Manny Steinfeld Ensuring Lifesaving Care Close to Home
Fern and Manny's gift has created and named the Fern F. Steinfeld Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) Center in the Christine E. Lynn Heart & Vascular Institute at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. More than 80 successful TAVR procedures were performed in the Center's first year and a half.
At age 91, Fern Steinfeld leads a full and active life. She plays bridge and golfs each week, has lunch with her girlfriends, and spends time with her husband, Manny, also 91.
So when Fern felt weak and fainted, she went immediately to the Wold Family Center for Emergency Medicine at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. The prognosis wasn't good. Fern's aortic valve was almost completely closed, and she wasn't getting sufficient blood flow throughout her body. Without intervention, she would die within months.
"The only procedure Fern could tolerate was a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Unfortunately, we don't have that capability at Boca Regional," says Dr. Richard Cartledge, chief of cardiovascular surgery at Boca Regional.
Dr. Cartledge arranged for Fern to have the TAVR procedure performed at another cardiac center, and the results were amazing. Today Fern is good as new and back to her golf game.
"As we drove to my post-procedure checkup, I wondered why we didn't have that lifesaving service at our Hospital, close to our home," Fern remembers. "Manny and I decided we needed to make that happen so that others could benefit."
Their gift has created and named the Fern F. Steinfeld Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Center in the Christine E. Lynn Heart & Vascular Institute at Boca Regional. Plans are now underway to recruit the team and purchase the technology needed for the procedure. The center is expected to open in 2016.
Philanthropy has always been an integral part of the Steinfelds' life.
"The only money we are going to take with us when we pass away from this earth is what we have given away…Because it is what we will be remembered by," Manny says. Manny only had $10 sewn inside his pants pocket when his widowed mother sent him from Nazi Germany to the safety of the United States.
Manny served in the U.S. Army during World War II with distinction and helped liberate the survivors of Wöbbelin Concentration Camp in northern Germany. After serving in the Korean War and earning a college degree, he and an associate took over the bankrupt Great Northern Chair Company for $10,000 and renamed it Shelby Williams in 1953.
Shelby Williams went from producing 50,000 chairs with sales of $350,000 in the first year to providing chairs to national hospitality corporations such as McDonalds and Starbucks, Hilton, Sheraton, and Marriott. Sales topped $2.5 million by 1959. When he sold the company in 1999, it was one of the world's leaders in the commercial furniture industry, focusing on the hospitality and food service markets.
Manny and Fern enjoy making a difference in their community and have generously supported higher education, cultural, religious, social service, and medical institutions through endowments and contributions.
"Life is not complete without giving back," Manny says.