By: Dale King Contributing Writer
A year ago this month, officials at Boca Raton Regional Hospital announced plans to invest about a quarter-billion dollars to expand and renovate its Meadows Road campus by just over 50 percent.
Last month, the same group gathered in the same location – a meeting room at the Christine E. Lynn Health & Wellness Institute, one of the medical center’s newest buildings – to unveil the specifics of the $250 million campaign.
Medical center leaders remarked that the financial effort will support the most ambitious period of growth and expansion in the facility’s nearly 52-year history. It will result in a half-billion dollar transformation of the Meadows Road medical campus.
The fundraising effort, called “Keeping the Promise…The Campaign for Boca Raton Regional Hospital,” is spotlighted by eight-figure philanthropic gifts to date from five long-tenured members of the BRRH family, including Christine E. Lynn, Stanley and Marilyn Barry, Richard and Barbara Schmidt, Elaine J. Wold and Louis B. and Anne W. Green.
“We stand at the threshold of an extraordinary future for Boca Raton Regional Hospital, one borne of a powerful and visionary long-term plan,” said Jerry Fedele, president and CEO of BRRH.
“As always, our supporters have demonstrated their spirit, commitment, and unflagging devotion by helping ensure these plans become a reality. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for the sophisticated level of healthcare we will all enjoy as we move forward with this transformative initiative.”
“Keeping the Promise…The Campaign for Boca Raton Regional Hospital” is the largest finance drive in the hospital’s history and has already raised $115 million toward its lofty goals, said Fedele.
Contributions support a multi-level project bringing several key components to the hospital’s current site. The centerpiece is the 180,000-square-foot, seven-story patient tower that will feature an expansion of the surgical suites, an inviting patient lobby and three floors set aside for future growth.
The Marcus Neuroscience Institute will make targeted staff and capital investments over the next five years in all neuroscience programs with an emphasis on neurovascular/stroke, CNS tumor, spine, and epilepsy/seizure disorders. “In our current hospital building, all 400 rooms will be converted to private accommodations — and a 20-bed Observation Unit will be added,” Fedele said.
The Schmidts have contributed $10 million for a 972-car parking garage.
“We are a community of people who believe in the hospital,” said Richard Schmidt, co-chair of Keeping the Promise. “We also believe in the strength of its partnership with the community. One cannot exist without the other, and we owe it to ourselves and everyone we care about to support it vigorously. We want the highest level of healthcare available right here in Boca Raton.”
During the brief announcement meeting Jan. 15 that lasted barely 20 minutes, Christine E. Lynn, chairman of the Board of Trustees and a major donor, said: “We’ve all come together in the spirit of Gloria Drummond, whose pioneering spirit helped build this hospital, to help take us to the next level as a healthcare provider.”
“We hope and expect those who care deeply about sophisticated world-class healthcare will embrace this effort and help us bridge the gap between the $115 million we’ve raised to date and the $250 million we need to move forward.”
“We are extremely proud of this campaign, truly the most significant fundraising effort in our history, and so grateful to our family of donors who generously provided us with the foundation for the campaign’s ongoing success,” said Stanley L. Barry, chairman of the BRRH Foundation and co-chairman of the campaign.
Jerry Fedele indicated the campaign and initiatives will provide essential resources as Boca Regional moves toward a partnership with Baptist Health, a process he said will reach fruition in a few months. “We want to do it before June 30, which is the end of our fiscal year.”
While the capital campaign will not have a direct impact on the partnership, the CEO said, it does create a synergy between the two medical entities. It also boosted Boca Hospital’s stability and financial status while it was looking for an operations partner.
He said BRRH will be the 11th hospital in Baptist’s network, and second largest.
“Together with our new partnership with Baptist Health, this transformative initiative is just the beginning. Eventually, our entire campus will be renewed and enhanced, and we will become a destination for the most advanced healthcare in South Florida.”