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Edward Koller, Jr: DO(ing) IT right

Philanthropist Edward Koller, Jr. Recognizes Joslin Excellence
with Gift to Support Patient Care and Education

Some of Edward R. Koller, Jr.’s earliest memories of Joslin Diabetes Center hark back nearly 30 years  to when his son Edward “Eddie” Koller III was running through the halls singing the soundtrack from the musical “Annie” to the delight of nurses, patients and doctors.  “Those were the days” says Ed, “when Joslin had its in-patient unit.  In the most supportive of settings, his [late] mother and I learned what we had to do to keep our son as healthy as possible after his diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at age three.”

“We did our research,” says Koller.  “We lived in Westchester County but knew that Joslin was – and is to this day – the standard-bearer of excellence in all things diabetes.  So we’d travel from New York for periodic check-ins with Joslin’s pediatric specialists and also made sure that Camp Joslin was part of Eddie’s summer experience.”  Now 35 years-old, Eddie continues to practice his daily diabetes management while he works alongside his father in the highly regarded executive search firm, the Howard-Sloan-Koller Group. 

Ed’s Joslin philanthropy began soon after his son’s diagnosis.  First, he named a resource and teaching room.  Then came the E.R. Koller, Sr. Campership in 1987.  The fund honors the memory of Ed’s father and has grown in value to nearly $300,000; both of Ed’s sons, Ross and Eddie, have also contributed.

Like the lyrics sung by his young son, Ed Koller is the kind of man you can easily imagine thinking, “The sun’ll come out, tomorrow…”   He is optimistic yet pragmatic with an abiding desire to improve the lives of those less fortunate.   He freely admits to the thrill of instant gratification and during a recent visit to Boston for a meeting of Joslin’s Foundation Board of which he is a member, Ed said, “Let’s put together a program that will help the less fortunate, a program that will change people’s lives!”
 
Ed’s desire to give a major “assist” to Joslin patients has come in the form of a generous gift to increase patient access to Joslin’s signature DO IT (Diabetes Outpatient Intensive Treatment) Program and the Eleanor Chesterman Beatson Child Life Pediatric Care Ambassador Jumpstart Program.

Both programs – DO IT for adults and JumpStart for children, teens and their families – are modeled after the original building blocks central to Dr. Elliott Joslin’s diabetes treatment and education philosophy.  Each incorporates multi-disciplinary approaches that include behavioral health techniques, family education and a plan for ongoing communication with Joslin case managers and pediatric “care ambassadors” beyond the programs’ timeframes. 

Until now, many patients were unable to take advantage of the four-day intensive DO IT program either because of health insurance restrictions or the prohibitive cost of travel and accommodations.  Thanks to the newly created Ed, Ross and Eddie Koller DO IT Scholarship those barriers are now eliminated.  To date, 13 patients have been able to enroll in the program.  Many more will follow.  The stream of thank-you notes is validation enough that in just a short period of time, Ed has already accomplished what he set out to do – change people’s lives.

“If you want to be involved, if you want to help find a cure, you deal with Joslin,” states Koller. “Joslin has been a wonderful, worthwhile experience for me.  I’m a happy contributor – everyone should do what they can.”  

(Pictured in  photo, left to right, are Eddie, Ed and Ross Koller.)

To learn more about the Ed, Ross and Eddie Koller DO IT Scholarship, please contact Joan Beaton, Administrative Program Coordinator, DO IT, at 617-309-2628 or  joan.beaton@joslin.harvard.edu.

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Page last updated: September 16, 2014