Barbra Streisand Raises $22 Million for Cedars-Sinai Heart Disease Center
Entertainer exceeds $20 million goal for the cardiovascular program at Cedars-Sinai, now re-named the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center -- and donates $10 million herself.
Barbra Streisand has exceeded her goal of raising $20 million to boost a regenerative-medicine research fund and efforts to fight heart disease among women, a source close to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center tells The Hollywood Reporter.
“Barbra has now brought over $22 million to this cause, including her own generous gift of $10 million in matching funds,” says Dr. Noel Bairey-Merz, director of the program which in June was re-named the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center.
Streisand played an active role in helping secure significant donations through her personal contacts with Ralph Lauren, Ronald Perelman, Sumner Redstone, Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg, Irwin Jacobs, Haim Saban and others. She also helped persuade New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make a $1 million gift.
Some of those efforts came during a fundraiser Streisand held June 15 at her Malibu home, where couples paid as much as $100,000 to attend. Streisand sang at the event, which also was attended by President Bill Clinton, who saluted the entertainer for her efforts on women’s health.
"Women need to be educated about female cardiovascular disease, and the medical community must be propelled toward change,” Streisand told THR. “Just like with breast cancer, the impetus must come from women themselves striving to become empowered to reduce their risks for heart disease.”
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Streisand has been a supporter of the former Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute since 2007, when she learned that heart disease is the number one killer of women. More than 500,000 women die each year in the U.S. from cardiovascular disease -- exceeding all the female deaths by cancer -- and most research had been done on men, without regard to the major differences among women who are affected.
"I consider myself a well-informed person," Streisand said in a recent speech, "but when I heard these facts, I was stunned. Very few people know this. And until recently, almost no one talked about or paid attention to an epidemic that women are dying from throughout the world."