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Howard P. Milstein

Howard P. Milstein

In the third generation of an extraordinary New York family, Howard Milstein is carrying on a legacy of vast philanthropic generosity and civic leadership. He is also charting a distinctive path with strategic giving to advance medical research and health care delivery. The result has been leading edge, important scientific and clinical breakthroughs, benefiting patients in New York and around the world.

Over the past five decades, the Milstein family’s philanthropy has left an indelible imprint on many of New York City's, and the nation's most prominent civic, educational, cultural, and medical institutions - including the New York Public Library, American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Howard's priorities and long-time commitments include the challenges of cancer, a safe and ample blood supply, skin conditions, infectious disease, and reproductive health - as well as improvements in the health care system itself.

Howard has served as chairman of American Skin Association since 2003, sharpening the organization’s focus on melanoma and other cancers. There, he funds the Milstein Research Scholar Awards to advance innovation in skin research.

As chairman of New York Blood Center, one of the largest blood collection, distribution and research organizations in the world, Howard has provided visionary and results-oriented stewardship for decades. Convinced by the potential of umbilical cord blood, which can be used to treat a wide range of diseases, Howard launched the center's National Cord Blood Program in 1992, creating the first and largest public cord blood bank in the world. To date, more than 60,000 of its cord blood units have been banked, providing cures to approximately 5,000 people with life-threatening diseases, and research materials for scientific research. Howard’s deep engagement also helped create the 1st FDA approved stem cell therapy.

On the board of Weill Cornell Medical College for almost 30 years, Howard is helping to spur progress in some of the most complex areas of science and biotechnology. Top researchers at the medical school’s Abby and Howard Milstein Core Facility and Program in Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology are seeking cures for antibiotic-resistant infections and lethal infectious diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. He also recently established the Abby and Howard P. Milstein Program in Medicinal Chemistry at Weill Cornell Medical College as part of a ground breaking Tri-Institutional Initiative. Earlier, he enabled the Howard P. Milstein Computational Biomedicine Programmatic Core. His latest venture in health-related research is regenerative medicine.

In 2007, Howard and his family created a major new melanoma research initiative at The Rockefeller University in order to improve diagnosis and treatment. He has also channeled important resources to reproductive health research, as Chair of the Jones Foundation for Reproductive Health. In service of his international vision as the Chairman of Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation (MMAAP Foundation), he funds fellowships and project awards that bring together top medical talent in the United States and Asia to make scientific progress in fields including geriatrics, dermatology, hematology, translational medicine, and reproductive medicine. In further recognition of his extensive bi-lateral initiatives, Howard recently received China’s prestigious Marco Polo Award.

Other honors include recognition by New York Blood Center (NYBC) as the first individual inductee to NYBC’s Hall of Fame in November 2015 and by the United Hospital Fund with the Health Care Leadership Award in October 2015. In April, 2014, Howard received the Insignia of Chevalier in France’s Legion of Honor. In addition, Howard was recognized with the Community Builder Award from Phipps Houses, Humanitarian Award from the American Skin Association, JASA Man of the Year Award, Make a Wish Foundation Award, ORT Community Builder Award, Tanenbaum Center Corporate Bridge Builder Award, awards from the Jewish National Fund and B’nai B’rith Youth Services, the Catholic Youth Organization Gold Medal Award, Emerald Isle Immigration Society Robert Briscoe Award, Federal Law Enforcement Foundation Humanitarian Award, and Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award. In March 2012, Howard was sworn in as an honorary FDNY Battalion Chief, in recognition of his significant support for the Fire Department and the people of New York.