For Richard Horvitz and Erica Hartman-Horvitz, a $3 million naming gift to Ahuja Medical Center’s neonatal intensive care unit comes as part of their deep commitment to children’s causes and as one of many family gifts to University Hospitals.
The couple, who married in 2007 and split their time between Moreland Hills and Bal Harbour, Fla., said they both wanted to honor the memory of Richard’s father, Leonard Horvitz, who died Sept. 7, 2020.
The gift also follows in the footsteps of Richard Horvitz’s daughter, Danielle Weiner of Hunting Valley, who is president-elect of the Rainbow Foundation. With her husband, Michael Weiner, Danielle Weiner committed to give $2 million to build the Danielle and Michael Weiner Maternity Suite at Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood.
“We wanted to help the new Ahuja expansion, and my daughter’s very involved in trying to help them raise money for the maternity area,” Richard Horvitz told the Cleveland Jewish News Sept. 10. “It just seemed very logical because my daughter just did the labor and delivery space. And Erica and I thought we’d do the NICU. It’s nice to have a facility like this on the east side.”
The Richard Horvitz and Erica Hartman-Horvitz Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will care for premature and critically ill newborns. The state-of-the-art unit, part of the new Steve and Loree Potash Women & Newborn Center, will be staffed by UH Rainbow neonatal specialists and include 12 patient rooms, each with space for family to stay, according to a news release.
Leonard Horvitz, and his wife, Joan, initially intended to give a gift in honor of his granddaughter’s bat mitzvah in 1995 and ended up making the lead gift of $7 million to build the Horvitz Tower at UH Rainbow, Richard Horvitz said.
The family also made a $5 million gift to UH’s “Discover the Difference Campaign” to name the Marcy R. Horvitz Pediatric Emergency Center, first at the main campus and later with an additional gift at Ahuja, both in memory of Richard’s late wife who died in November 2003.
Richard Horvitz has served as both a director on the board of University Hospitals for 17 years and is now a trustee.
“In ways great and small, Richard and Erica have been true and abiding friends of UH,” Dr. Cliff A. Megerian, CEO of University Hospitals, said in the release. “Through both philanthropy and volunteerism, the entire Horvitz family has given selflessly for generations and left an enduring mark on our health system. The impact they’ve made in this community and continue to make in the lives of our patients is phenomenal.”
Part of the UH Ahuja phase two expansion, the Potash Women & Newborn Center brings the trust and collaborative care of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and UH MacDonald Women’s hospitals to the east side of Cleveland. It is estimated that the center will deliver approximately 2,400 babies annually.
“It is fitting the Horvitz family, with such a longstanding relationship to Rainbow Babies & Children’s, continues their generosity in support of expanding our renowned neonatal services to our east side patients,” Patti DePompei, president of UH Rainbow and MacDonald Women’s hospitals, said in the release. “Most expectant families do not plan for their baby to need a NICU, but should a premature birth or medical condition requiring intervention occur it’s important to be close by specially-trained physicians and nurses for the best possible care of a newborn and their family.”
Richard Horvitz and Erica Hartman-Horvitz told the CJN they want to give children the best possible start in life.
Richard Horvitz was born about six weeks premature. Born in the former St. Luke’s Hospital in Cleveland, he said he believes he was placed in an incubator for some time.
”I was told I was in an incubator although I wasn’t aware of it,” Richard Horvitz said. “I was kind of young.”
Richard Horvitz grew up in Shaker Heights at The Temple-Tifereth Israel, then in Cleveland, and graduated from University School in Hunting Valley, Princeton University in New Jersey, and Duke University School of Law in Durham, N.C. As a young lawyer at Baker & Hostetler in Cleveland, where he practiced for several years, he met Calvin Kirchick, who invited him to a minyan after Kirchick’s father died.
That invitation, Horvitz said, was his first time at a minyan, and he said Kirchick influenced his own interest in Judaism.
Later, Richard Horvitz went onto be involved in his family’s businesses and helped found the family’s investment office in 1987.
Today, he and Hartman-Horvitz are members of Temple Emanu El in Orange. They are supportive of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. In Cleveland, the couple contributes to Breakthrough Public Schools in Cleveland and Erica Hartman-Horvitz is also committed to the Children’s Tumor Foundation in New York City. Erica Hartman-Horvitz is also co-chair of the Cleveland Israel Arts Connection.
“It’s also a firm belief – and I’ve heard Richard speak about it and his father speak about it – that if your childhood is stable and well developed, you’ll be a great adult,” Erica Hartman-Horvitz said.
Richard Horvitz has a son, Matthew Horvitz, who lives in Gates Mills.
Erica Hartman-Horvitz was born in New York City and attended Park East Synagogue in New York City. She graduated from Hunter High School in Manhattan, Barnard College and Columbia Business School, both in New York City.
She has a daughter, Ashley Robin, who lives in Chicago.
The couple share four grandchildren.
“Richard and I, individually and together, have always been very supportive of children’s growth,” Erica Hartman-Horvitz said. “Whether it’s through birth or early childhood or education in high school, and so this is certainly the first step. If a baby is born and needs this kind of treatment, it has to be the best kind of treatment in order to come out with the best outcome.”
Of philanthropic giving, Richard Horvitz said, “I think it’s a feeling we both have, that we’ve been very lucky financially, and we want to share that with the world.”