In 1990, FXB established the François-Xavier Bagnoud Chair in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers), and Dr. James Oleske became the first FXB Professor of Pediatrics.
FXB’s Founder, Albina du Boisrouvray, had been impressed by the work of Dr. James Oleske for his work as one of the nation’s foremost pediatric HIV/AIDS specialists, who was the first to prove that the AIDS virus could be transmitted to unborn babies by their infected mothers. With his work so closely aligned to her own, Albina sought out Dr. Oleske to discuss potential projects like the Chair in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
It was in the same year, that FXB launched the FXB International Training Program on pediatric AIDS (FXB-ITP) at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey for worldwide doctors, nurses and social workers. Doctors from South America, Cuba, Europe, Africa and parts of the former Soviet Union have trained at the clinic or invited Dr. Oleske and his staff to visit them and share his knowledge of the treatment of young AIDS victims and their families.
Since then, through the FXB Foundation, $2.25 million has been donated to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, which funded all the future work of the FXB Center, which included training AIDS workers from around the world and the Helping the Helpers Program, which gave emotional and psychological support to the doctors and nurses looking after dying children.
Out of gratitude, Dr. Oleske and Dr. Mary Boland decided to call the centre the FXB Center, which became an independent not-for-profit corporation that accepts and administers private contributions to all campuses of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – the nation’s largest public health sciences university of its kind. Financial support through the FXB Center of UMDNJ makes progress a possibility. There are opportunities to fund patient care programs for the youngest and oldest members of the community. The FXB Center covers a broad range of activity: research in areas including human genetics, eye disease, cardiac care, neurological diseases, AIDS and cancer; programs to address health disparities in under-served communities and to promote wellness in all communities; or scholarship programs to make education possible for all qualified students. The FXB Center at UMDNJ reaches across traditional boundaries to link research and practice through education. It also provides clinical care, education, and technical assistance in the US and globally to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Dr. Mary Boland, prior to joining the University of Hawai’i, served as Associate Dean and the FXB Professor of Nursing at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She has extensive academic research and administrative experience, and was the co-founder and director of the FXB Center, an innovative interdisciplinary endeavor within the School of Nursing and New Jersey Medical School.
Actively involved in HIV/AIDS work, she is an internationally-recognized author, teacher, speaker and advocate for women and children. Her major interest area is healthcare delivery focusing on vulnerable families. While at UMDNJ, she secured $15 million in extramural funding as a principal investigator, and under her leadership, the FXB Center received significant grants from the National Institute for Nursing Research at NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources Administration.
In July 2013, the FXB Center, which is operating without financial support from FXB, was incorporated with Rutgers School of Nursing, The State University of New Jersey. Its mission is to improve the health conditions of disadvantaged women, children, youth and communities, by strengthening the capacities of the current systems. The FXB Center effectively provides models that respect cultural differences in terms of clinic care, education and consult, be it at State, national or international level.