Eldercare Foundation’s “Gift of Age” Cabaret Honors Dr. David Murray & Mattie Campbell
The 8th annual “Gift of Age” Cabaret was held on Saturday, May 2, 2015 to benefit the Eldercare Foundation, a division of VNA Homecare. Funds raised by the Foundation support the important work of Home Aides of Central New York, a not-for-profit home healthcare agency affiliated with VNA Homecare that has been serving the aging members of our community since 1966.
More than 150 guests from the local community enjoyed entertainment by Delfeayo Marsalis, a member of the most celebrated and internationally-renowned jazz families of the past quarter century, and Tom Varano, a painter from Rome, NY known for his captivating Emotion Into Art performances. Additionally, Dr. David G. Murray and Mattie Lee Campbell were honored for their support and commitment to the mission of the Eldercare Foundation.
“The individuals honored at this year’s Cabaret are true advocates for our aging population, and are dedicated to the work done by Home Aides of Central New York,” said Kate Rolf, president and chief executive officer. “They, along with our generous sponsors, advertisers and contributors, allow our agency to serve the aging, ill and frail members of our community.”
Dr. David Murray, Eldercare Champion Award
There are two principals that Dr. David G. Murray has lived by during his lifetime: never answer a question with a question, and never say “no” to a reasonable request. Each day, he has held true to these, whether it be working with patients and families at SUNY Upstate, or donating his time to countless committees and organizations in the community. For his dedication and commitment to Central New York and to the people he has inspired throughout his 40 year medical career, the Eldercare Foundation honored him as a “Champion.”
Dr. Murray brought distinction to SUNY Upstate by building one of the premiere orthopedic surgery departments in the world and by his international recognition as a gifted surgeon, physician-scientist and service to his profession. While at SUNY Upstate, Dr. Murray graduated more than 120 orthopedic surgeons from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery’s residency program.
The Eldercare Foundation also benefited from Dr. Murray’s vision and eagerness to succeed. He chaired the first “Gift of Age” Cabaret Committee in 2008 and served in the same capacity in 2014, helping to raise thousands of dollars for the seniors in our community that wish to be cared for in the comfort of their own homes. Dr. Murray retired from the Eldercare Foundation Board of Directors at the end of 2014.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Murray designed, developed and patented the variable-axis knee prosthesis, which for many years was referred to as the “Syracuse knee.” Dr. Murray was elected the 50th president of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 1982, and the 77th president of the American College of Surgeons in 1998. In between, he served as President of the Orthopedic Research and Education Foundation, the Knee Society, the Onondaga County Medical Society, Patients Choice, Inc., and the Martin Memorial Foundation.
Dr. Murray attended Cornell University and received a medical degree from the School of Medicine of Washington University in St. Louis in 1955. He completed a surgical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in 1956. After service in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant, Dr. Murray resumed general surgery training at SUNY Upstate from 1958 to 1959. He then completed residency training in orthopedic surgery at the State University of Iowa at Iowa City in 1962. Dr. Murray joined the SUNY Upstate faculty in 1962 and was promoted to professor in 1969. He was named chair of the Department in 1966, a position he held for 30 years.
Dr. Murray has three sons and six grandchildren. He resides in Syracuse with his wife Judith Sayles, who is a practicing attorney.
Mattie Lee Campbell, Eldercare Achiever Award
Mattie Lee Campbell was born in 1918, when silent movies were popular, the world was dealing with an influenza pandemic, women were going to work for the first time to replace men who had been drafted for World War I, trains were the primary form of transportation and communications were done through telegrams. Today, things have certainly changed for 96-year-old Campbell, who says her days are filled with laughter and joy thanks to the people that surround her – including the staff at VNA Homecare.
Campbell is the first recipient of the Eldercare Foundation’s Eldercare Achiever Award, which recognizes a patient of VNA Homecare who sets an example for Central New York’s growing population of aging individuals.
Campbell benefits from several of the services offered by VNA Homecare, including managed long term care services from VNA Homecare Options; socialization at the Eldercare Social Day Program; personal care assistance from Home Aides of Central New York; and registered nurse visits provided by the Visiting Nurse Association of Central New York.
“I have a wonderful life,” she says. “I have everything I want at home – my own room, my own things. And I have everything I want here (at the Social Day Program) – I play bingo, sing and dance, and have great friends.”
And her days are made that much more fulfilling thanks to her daughter Pamela, son-in-law Leroy, her three grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild.
Born and raised in Georgia, Campbell moved to the Syracuse area at the age of 33 and made a career as a personal live-in cook for several families. She also worked at the psychiatric hospital. Today, she lives with her daughter and son-in-law in Liverpool.