Aug. 10, 2003 — As the cancer care facility at Roy L. Schneider Hospital moves step by step closer to reality, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull has transmitted a bill to the Senate president to name the new cancer center in honor of Charlotte Kimelman.
Mrs. Kimelman and her husband, Henry, V.I. residents since 1950, both have long records of participating in community service, Mrs. Kimelman especially with the formative years of Partners for Health.
Eighteen years ago, said Partners spokesperson Lorraine Baa-Elisha, the Kimelmans encountered a personal experience with the need for a young cancer patient and his parent to go off-island for radiation treatment. The Kimelmans, then Health Commissioner Roy L. Schneider, and the Partners for Health agreed on the need for a center, and the Kimelmans made a large initial donation to establish a special fund within the Partners for Health, a fund which has been nurtured by that organization, and has grown by additional donations from the Kimelmans as well as others.
The Senate vote to expend tobacco settlement funds for the purpose of establishing the center gave impetus to successful fund-raisers by Partners for Health. With medical oversight and architectural/construction teams in place, the project is moving and the center is expected to open next year. (See "Cancer center will bring more than care" and "Cancer care facility expected to open in 2004.")
In his transmittal letter to the 25th Legislature the governor said, according to a release, "Naming the cancer center in Mrs. Kimelman's honor is a fitting tribute to her in recognition of her outstanding service in the field of health care and contributions to the people of the United States Virgin Islands."
Mrs. Kimelman was born in New York City, according to biographical information supplied by the office of the hospital's chief executive officer. She graduated from Adelphi College and began pre-med studies. She married Navy Lt. j.g. Henry L. Kimelman in 1943 and they came to the Virgin Islands in 1950, and raised their three children, Susan, Donald and John.
Mrs. Kimelman served on the board of directors of the Virgin Isle Hotel and the West Indies Corp., and was president of the West Indies Corp. from 1977 to 1980. She organized many Red Cross fund-raising drives and was active with the USO on St. Thomas. She was president for several years of the parent-teacher association of Antilles School and served as a trustee. She is a past president of the Partners for Health. She and her husband, a former U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, were co-founding benefactors of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and served on its board of directors.
The governor requested that the Legislature make expeditious consideration of this bill.
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