History

Walter H. and Lenore Annenberg

Walter and Lenore Annenberg

A Brief History of Our Founders and Benefactors

The Annenberg Center for Health Sciences' commitment to educational excellence was established the moment we broke ground 40 years ago in 1980, thanks to a generous donation from our benefactor and founder, U.S. Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg and his wife Leonore.

Walter H. Annenberg was born in 1908 and enjoyed a distinguished career as a publisher, broadcaster, diplomat, and philanthropist. He graduated from The Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey, and attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He entered the family publishing business in Philadelphia, where he became President of Triangle Publications in 1940 and, subsequently, Chairman of the Board.

Ambassador Annenberg also pioneered educational programming via television, for which he received multiple awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont Award; Marshall Field Award; and the Ralph Lowell Medal for his "outstanding contribution to public television."

Ambassador Annenberg founded The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1971. By the late 1980s, after selling all of his publishing enterprises, Ambassador Annenberg devoted his attention to philanthropy and public service. He served as Founder/Trustee of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships and Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California; Trustee of the Winston Churchill Traveling Fellowships; and Emeritus Trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the University of Pennsylvania, and The Peddie School.

Our Timeline

The Beginning 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s Today

1979

Walter and Leonore Annenberg pledge $5 million

to build an educational facility on the Eisenhower Medical Center campus

1980

Construction begins

1981

Center Dedication

featuring Bob Hope, Walter Annenberg, and a letter from Pope John Paul II

1982

First medical conference

hosted at the Annenberg Center with healthcare professionals from around the world

1983

Walter and Leonore Annenberg pledge $5 million

payable over a 10-year period, for educational programming at Annenberg Center

1983

First audio teleconference

hosted by Annenberg Center for educational outreach

1984

Council of Continuing Education Accreditation

earned to solidify the Annenberg Center's commitment to supporting ongoing CME credits

1984

Video/Audio production facility begins operation

1985

First video teleconference

linked by satellite to 19 major U.S. cities

1986

World Medical Conference

Annenberg Center hosts World Medical Conference, conducted in five languages, for the first time

1987

Acquisition of transportable satellite uplink

1988

Frontiers of Biomedical Science meeting with Nobel Prize winners

hosted at the Annenberg Center

1988

Medicine for the 21st Century Forum

hosted at the Annenberg Center

1989

Creation of Man Scanamural

artistically added to rotunda of Annenberg Center

1989

Third International Conference on Continuing Education

with keynote speaker former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

1991

First National Disaster Conference

hosted at the Annenberg Center

1992

Upjohn Co./Annenberg joint networks established

in Japan, serving the Pacific Rim; New Zealand; and Columbia, serving Central and South America

1994

Care Beyond Cure

Hospice Helping Physicians Treat the Terminally Ill, televised on CNBC

1995

First Day of Hope for Diabetes

established as a commitment to influence better care

1996

First conference on patient safety

hosted at the Annenberg Center to influence quality care

1998

First Africa Calls distance learning program

established to continue global influence of Annenberg Center

1998

First fellows mentoring program

hosted at the Annenberg Center

1999

Award-Winning documentary

PBS airing of award-winning documentary produced by Annenberg Center on the art of aging in America

2000

Obesity conference series

addressing pressing society health issues

2003

Inaugural World Congress for Insulin Resistance Syndrome

hosted at the Annenberg Center

2004

First Community Heart Conference

hosted at the Annneberg Center

2005

Inaugural Critical Care Conference

2007

Leonore Annenberg donates $2.5 million

Establishing an endowment to support and expand programs

2007

Annual Leonore Annenberg Lecture launched

2008

26th Annual Sleep Disorders in Infancy & Childhood international

conference at the Annenberg Center

2009

Quality Improvement Program

developed education to improve inpatient glycemic control in patients with diabetes

2011

First Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program

Annenberg Center helped address gaps in the management of osteoporosis

2014

Annenberg Center hosted Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) Workshop with Hands-On Labs

to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to perform EBUS procedures

2014

Annenberg Center's pediatric nutrition site

pediatricnutritionce.org exceeds over 10,000 registered users

2015

The Annenberg Center certified EMC's Transgender Symposium

as part of an initiative to better serve the needs of the Coachella Valley transgender community

2015

10th Annual Master Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship Program

2016

Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health

accredited by the Annenberg Center.

2016

New Live Meeting Series

to improve the healthcare experience of transgender and gender-nonconforming patients.

2017

Expert Lecture Series for the American Evaluation Association

highlighting the Center’s innovative methodology for measuring attitudinal and behavioral shifts in clinical skills and practice change.

2017

HIMSS Nursing Informatics Boot Camp

accredited by the Annenberg Center.

2018

Nationwide Gender-affirmation Healthcare Training Program

to create healthcare environments that are culturally sensitive, culturally competent, and welcoming to transgender and gender-nonconforming patients.

2019

PNCE.org

Pediatric Nutition Continuing Education website released. Visit here.

2019

Annenberg Oncology launched