ChairScholars Foundation - History
A Lasting Legacy
During his 29 year tenure as Chief of Spinal Surgery at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, Hugo A. Keim, M.D. witnessed the struggles of many disabled young people.
As a child, Dr. Keim suffered a traumatic eye injury that resulted in the loss of vision in that eye. Later, he was forced to have the eye removed while in medical school. He persevered despite these tremendous odds to become Chief of Spinal Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, a position he held for 29 years before retiring to Florida.
Dr. Keim met his wife, Alicia, when he corrected the 90 degree Scoliosis curvature of her spine in 1978. Their collective experience made them more aware of the obstacles that exist for people with disabilities to achieve success. Having both overcome physical challenges of their own, they wanted to help.
In 1992 Dr. Hugo and Alicia Keim began by sending two students who were in wheelchairs to college, establishing ChairScholars Foundation.
Their motto, “no physical impairment should deter a motivated mind” is the foundation for our mission and their lasting legacy.
People Magazine - Heroes Among Us
September 3rd, 2007