Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation helps vulnerable populations
By Stacey Bomser
Photography by Sonya Revell
hen housepainter Tadeo Maldonado started to experience vision loss due to diabetic macular edema, he worried he would no longer be able to work and would have to rely on his extended family in Mexico to care for him.
Fortunately, it never came to that. A series of grants from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation funded multiple surgeries for Maldonado at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Naples, Florida. There, William Smiddy, M.D., a retina and vitreous disease specialist, helped restore Maldonado’s sight.
“Dr. Smiddy has been an angel in my life. Not only did he restore my vision, but he renewed my hope,” said Maldonado, 46, who lives in Estero. “I owe him and the Schulze Family Foundation my life.”
Best Buy founder Richard “Dick” Schulze created the foundation to give back to the communities where he grew up, raised his family, and built the world’s largest consumer electronics company. So far, the foundation’s grants, which total more than $107,000, have benefited at least 19 patients at Bascom Palmer.
“Our focus on health care is to prioritize the well-being of vulnerable populations within our community,” said Mary Beth Geier, the foundation’s Florida director. “We understand the expense associated with quality health care and look for ways to make that accessible to all. This grant helps Bascom Palmer Eye Institute serve low-income patients without insurance and improves their quality of life.”
“We are grateful for the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation’s generous financial support, which allows us to continue to deliver the most advanced vision care to patients throughout our diverse community,” said Eduardo C. Alfonso, M.D., director of Bascom Palmer and the Kathleen and Stanley J. Glaser Chair in Ophthalmology.