The Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing at the St. John Fisher University Wegmans School of Nursing will receive a financial gift totaling $5 million.

The funding is coming from Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation and will be used to continue the expansion of the institute. The university says the money will bolster efforts to positively impact more than 1 million health encounters for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities over the next 10 years.

Nurses are the largest segment of the health care workforce and those most frequently caring for patients with IDD, St. John Fisher says. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the barriers facing individuals with IDD is providers’ lack of knowledge and understanding of their unique needs and challenges.

“I am grateful to Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation for their trust and belief in the unique work of the Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing which is transforming the quality of health care for individuals with IDD on a regional, national, and global scale,” said Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, president of Fisher. 

“Fisher has clearly demonstrated its commitment to improving health care for people with developmental disabilities by preparing the next generation of nurses and thought leaders with field–specific skills and knowledge," said Erica Dayton, executive director of the Golisano Foundation. 

The $5 million announced on Monday is in addition to the $5.8 million investment from Golisano and the Golisano Foundation in 2018 to fund the creation of the Institute, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary. The university has also committed to investing in the future of the institute and working to broaden its impact by providing an additional $5 million.