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David Geffen School of Medicine

A Visionary Evening

  The 2013 Visionary Ball, benefiting the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery
  Top Left: Dr. Richard Merkin, Medical Visionary Award recipient. Top Middle: Rabbi David Wolpe, Courage Award recipient. Top Right: Larry Miller, Visionary Ball host. Middle: Chuck Lorre (right), Rodney Respect Award recipient, with presenters Bob Newhart and Joan Dangerfield. Bottom Left: William Friedkin, Visionary Icon Award recipient. Bottom Middle: Steve Tisch, Visionary Award recipient. Bottom Right: Dr. Neil Martin, chair of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery.
Photography: Vince Bucci.

The 2013 Visionary Ball, benefiting the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery, was held October 24, 2013, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. More than $2 million was raised from the annual event, which will help to dramatically increase the pace of discovery for new therapies for brain tumors, stroke, epilepsy, brain and spine trauma and myriad complex neurological disorders.

The 2013 award recipients were:

  • Steve Tisch - Visionary Award: The only person with an Academy Award (as a producer for Best Picture-winner Forrest Gump), Golden Globe (Forrest Gump) and two Super Bowl rings (as chairman and executive vice president of the New York Giants), Tisch contributes to many worthy organizations, including The Simon Wiesenthal Center and UCLA Neurosurgery. He also is a member of the Board of Advisors at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Cancer Center. Tisch’s award was presented by long-time friend Peter Morton.


  • Dr. Richard Merkin - Medical Visionary Award: Dr. Merkin is founder and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, named one of the world’s “10 Most Innovative Companies” in healthcare in 2012 by Fast Company magazine. He is deeply committed to the neurosciences, establishing, among others, the Richard Merkin Foundation for Neural Regeneration at UCLA, and also serves on the board of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA. Dr. Merkin’s award was presented by UCLA Health System President Dr. David T. Feinberg.


  • William Friedkin - Visionary Icon Award: An Academy Award-winning director, Friedkin, along with his wife, UC Regent Sherry Lansing, established the Surgical Infections Quality Improvement Project at UCLA. He is the director of such classic films as The Exorcist and To Live and Die in L.A. and was honored at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award. Friedkin’s award was presented by Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences Dr. A. Eugene Washington.


  • Rabbi David Wolpe - Courage Award: Recently named the most-influential rabbi in America by Newsweek, Rabbi Wolpe was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and underwent successful surgery, performed by Dr. Neil Martin, chair of the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery. Rabbi Wolpe’s award was presented by Sinai Temple congregant and legendary television director James Burrows.


  • Chuck Lorre - Rodney Respect Award: Accomplished television-comedy writer and producer of several popular shows, including The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, Lorre was honored for carrying on Rodney Dangerfield’s legacy of laughter. Lorre’s award was presented by Rodney’s widow, Joan Dangerfield, and comedic icon Bob Newhart.

The evening was highlighted with performances by acclaimed singer-songwriter Randy Newman and Brad Carter, the 500th deep-brain-stimulation surgery patient at UCLA.

To view more Visionary Ball event photos, videos and the tribute journal, go to: visionaryball.org


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