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Muir Foundation Raises Fundraising Goal for Concord, Walnut Creek Expansions

August 28, 2008

By Theresa Harrington

Together, John Muir Medical Center’s campus expansions in Walnut Creek and Concord comprise one of the largest construction projects under way in Contra Costa County.

With holes dug and steel frames beginning to take shape, the John Muir Health Foundation has merged the capital campaigns for both projects, increasing its overall goal to $56 million by 2011 to help pay for $800 million in costs.

So far, the foundation is slightly more than halfway toward meeting this commitment, with $28.6 million raised.

“We’re working with possible donors in the Concord area on soliciting a major lead gift,” said Susan Woods, foundation president.

About $27.6 million has been earmarked for the Ygnacio Valley Road facility in Walnut Creek, while $1 million is designated for a new patient room building at the East Street hospital in Concord.

For a $9.5 million lead gift in Walnut Creek by the Thomas J. Long Foundation, the new five-story, 350,000-square foot addition will be named the Thomas J. and Muriel T. Long Patient Care Tower.

Naming opportunities in Concord range from $10 million for the five-story, 174,000-square-foot cardiovascular patient care tower to $25,000 for emergency department treatment rooms, Woods said.

Capital campaign director Kimberly Low is optimistic about raising the remaining $27.4 million in the next three years. Up until now, she said, the foundation has focused on large donors and internal fundraising.

Recently, Low and board members have begun giving presentations and tours to civic leaders, in the hopes that they will become strong advocates for the hospital projects. In the fall, the foundation will launch its public campaign, asking patients and others to help support the locally-run, not-for-profit institutions.

“I think the public will respond very positively,” Low said. “To our knowledge, there has not been any broad-based fund-raising in the Concord community (toward the medical center). It’s been there 70 years. No one’s ever said, ‘Show your support for our Concord hospital.’ “

Dr. Michael Levine, a Concord campus cancer specialist, said he recently joined the foundation board to ensure high-quality medical facilities now and in the future.

“It’s kind of an extension of what I do every day, personally improving the health of my patients,” Levine said. “This gives me a special opportunity to make a broader impact on health care in Contra Costa County and hopefully to inspire others to give back to this effort.” Both expansions, slated to open in late 2010, are on schedule, said Michael Monaldo, vice president for facilities development.

Theresa Harrington covers Walnut Creek. Reach her at 925-945- 4764.MORE INFORMATION:

Details about the John Muir Health Foundation’s capital campaign are at 925-947-4449 or www.johnmuirhealthfoundation.org.

Originally published by Theresa Harrington, Contra Costa Times.

(c) 2008 Oakland Tribune. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.