Top donors give $35M in advance of capital campaign
By: Dale King Contributing Writer
Boca Raton Regional Hospital is about to get bigger. A lot bigger. Just over a 50 percent increase in the size of its current Meadows Road campus, BRRH President and CEO Jerry Fedele announced at a Jan. 8 reception held in the Christine E. Lynn Health & Wellness Institute, one of the medical center’s newest buildings.
The magnitude of the enlargement/renovation project wasn’t the only bit of news to happen that evening. Several major hospital supporters stepped forward to chip in $35 million up front to help defray the cost of the new development.
BRRH rolled out the fine china, silverware, hors d’oeuvres and bubbly beverages to celebrate the project aimed at solidifying the medical facility’s future. Officials called the largesse “one of the most profound displays of philanthropy in one day in the 50-year history of the hospital.”
Stanley Barry and his wife, Marilyn, contributed $10 million, as did Richard and Barbara Schmidt. Christine Lynn, whose name can be found on various buildings and units at the facility, came up with a $15 million gift.
The philanthropic donations pre-date a major capital campaign set to launch later this year aimed at funding the project whose purpose is to solidify the hospital’s position for the upcoming half-century.
“These donors are among our most cherished community partners and intimate members of the Boca Raton Regional family, who lead through their commitment of time and expertise as well as philanthropy,” said Fedele. “They set the pace for others to ensure outstanding, best-in-class healthcare in Boca Raton. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”
The donations will fund a new 278,000-square-foot addition to Boca Regional Hospital, made up of a seven-story patient tower, expanded and renovated surgical suites, an enhanced and expanded surgical intensive care unit and medical intensive care unit, a new cardiovascular intensive care and stepdown unit, expanded private patient rooms, a new and inviting patient lobby and other amenities.
The Schmidts drew quiet chuckles when they said their gift would fund a parking garage. Dick Schmidt said he and Barbara chose to direct their donation that way because of widespread on-site parking troubles. He explained they were impressed by a parking garage system at a medical facility in Cincinnati where his father-in-law was being treated. “I called Jerry every day to tell him about it,” said Schmidt.
And when Fedele returned to the podium, he underscored the comment. “He really did call me every day.”
Among the donors, Stanley Barry is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation. He and Marilyn have been active and philanthropic for 30 years on behalf of the Hospital. Their generosity funded The Marilyn & Stanley Barry Center for Cerebrovascular Disease & Stroke in the Marcus Neuroscience Institute.
Christine E. Lynn is chair of the hospital Board of Trustees and one of the country’s leading philanthropists. Her generosity through the years has helped create the Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute, Christine E. Lynn Heart & Vascular Institute, Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute and the Hospital’s Clinical Research Center, among other services.
Dick Schmidt is immediate past chair of the hospital Board of Trustees and continues to devote his time and expertise to support it. Barbara has served in leadership roles for numerous hospital committees and her “Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life” initiative offers workshops on wellness and inner peace at Boca Regional and other locations.
Together, they have been powerful advocates for BRRH through their Schmidt Family Foundation, gifting the Schmidt Family Center for Breast Cancer and the Schmidt Family Pavilion at the Marcus Neuroscience Institute, among others.
“It is incumbent on all of us as leaders of this hospital to set the stage and create a momentum for the fundraising efforts that will be critical to the success of this magnificent plan,” said Stanley Barry. “We want others to follow suit.”
“It is imperative we make bold investments in this grand vision that will re-imagine and transform our campus, and forge a future of unprecedented medical sophistication in our region,” said Christine Lynn. “This initiative will provide life-saving benefits for all of us and our families.”
“Our objective, as always, is to support projects and organizations that strengthen families and communities,” said Dick Schmidt. “Boca Raton Regional Hospital has been at the forefront of contemporary and cutting-edge health initiatives for years.”