Howard Milstein, chairman of the Milstein Medical Asian American Partnership Foundation, was presented with the Marco Polo Award on Wednesday in Beijing.
The award was granted to him for his and his foundation's outstanding contributions to international personnel exchanges.
The MMAAP Foundation was founded by the Milstein family in 2011, with the aim of improving world health by fostering mutually beneficial partnerships between the United States and China, as well as elsewhere in Asia.
In 2013, the foundation began to provide financial support to research in the fields of geriatrics and dermatology in China. Over the following two years, it also gave its support to research in hematology, translational medicine and reproductive medicine.
Currently, the foundation invests almost million annually to the five fields of research in China.
Milstein, who is also chairman, president and CEO of New York Private Bank & Trust and its operating bank, Emigrant Bank — the largest privately owned, family-run bank in the U.S. — said it was a privilege to accept the Chinese government's highest honor for a foreign business leader.
The Marco Polo Award was founded in the 1990s to honor organizations or people contributing to the exchange of international personnel between China and other countries. So far, more than 30 entrepreneurs, social activists and politicians from across the world, including former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, have received the award.