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Los Angeles Professional Services Community Raises $100,000 for Nation’s #1 Respiratory Hospital on June 2 at Cocktails for a Cause

Professional Services leaders in Los Angeles raised $100,000 on June 2 at the Cocktails for a Cause benefit for National Jewish Health, the nation’s #1 respiratory hospital. Ron Friedman, Partner-in-Charge, Southern California, of MarcumStonefield and National Jewish Health Trustee, served as auctioneer at the event, encouraging bidders to wage friendly battles over a golf package, diamond jewelry, restaurants, wine, shopping sprees and other items.

For more than 50 years, supporters of National Jewish Health, a Denver-based hospital that specializes in the treatment and research of respiratory, cardiac, immune and related diseases, have gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the institution’s work and share its mission in California. National Jewish Health treats patients from across the country and around the world, including 684 patients from California in the last three years.

Last year, National Jewish Health physicians and nurses also provided their expertise to 6,535 California doctors and residents through advice on the toll-free Lung Line® and Physician Line services. Seventy-eight doctors who trained at National Jewish Health now practice in the California.

“National Jewish Health benefits patients worldwide and right here in Los Angeles,” said Event Chair Mark Brutzkus, a partner at Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP and National Jewish Health trustee. 

Jon Bernhard, a competitive cyclist who has been a National Jewish Health patient for 24 years, told attendees his experience when physicians found the cause of his breathing problems, chest tightness and failing pulmonary function. “Physicians elsewhere gave me six to 12 months to live if I didn’t get suitable medical treatment,” Bernhard told the group. National Jewish Health doctors diagnosed his disease as mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), a nontuberculous mycobacteria infection of the lungs, and provided the treatment that has allowed him to take up mountain climbing and return to competitive bicycling.

“Physicians at National Jewish Health were able to devise a strategy to combat MAC and keep me alive,” Bernhard said. “National Jewish Health is the only facility in the world whose doctors possess the knowledge to keep me healthy.”

Other National Jewish Health trustees who attended include Vicky Balmot; Mitch Cohen, CIT/Commercial Services; John Daly, CIT; Bob Ezra, Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP; Lester Friedman, Great American Group; Jeff Kapor, Buchalter Nemer; Fred Lionetti, Contintental Business Credit Inc.; and Jay Mangel, Crowe Horwath LLP.

Wells Fargo Capital Finance was the event’s top sponsor. Other donors included CIT/Commercial Services, Crowe Horwath LLP, Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP, MarcumStonefield, Skechers and more than 53 other businesses and individuals.

National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. Founded in 1899 as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health remains the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to these disorders. Since 1998, U.S. News & World Report has ranked National Jewish Health the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation.

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