issue Spring 2022

Monica Ply's Timeless Mission

By Stephanie Geier

Monica Ply, who passed away in September 2021, left a bequest that will carry forward her passion for and relentless pursuit of a cure for Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease.

Mrs. Ply, who was married to Navy Chief Robert Ply for 53 years, was steadfastly committed to supporting veterans through informed, insightful philanthropy aimed at improving their health. Chief Ply had a heart attack in 1964 before leaving active duty, and he later developed Parkinson’s disease and was cared for at what is known today as the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center. Following his death, Mrs. Ply committed her time and effort to serving veterans and supporting Parkinson’s and cardiovascular discovery research. Her connection at Lovell FHCC led to a relationship with Rosalind Franklin University that developed over a decade, as she built stronger connections with the faculty and administration of the university and became a tireless advocate for research.

“Her legacy will live on. We are immensely grateful to Mrs. Ply and will miss her dearly.”

“During her life, Mrs. Monica Ply was a strong supporter and friend of RFU. Her contributions were fundamental to continued progress in the understanding of and the eventual amelioration of these two diseases,” said Ronald S. Kaplan, PhD, executive vice president for research. “The Monica Ply Research Innovation Award will allow annual awards to be made to RFU investigators in these two areas for the next decade, thereby supporting continued progress in these disease areas, which were of such personal importance to Mrs. Ply. Her legacy will live on. We are immensely grateful to Mrs. Ply and will miss her dearly.”

Mrs. Ply’s belief in the work of RFU research is reflected through her estate gift. It will continue to empower university researchers to fund work that, we hope, will lead to progress toward the cure of these deadly diseases.