After a decade-long battle for control and management finally came to an end last summer, is reclaiming its link to the community. Earlier this month, the hospital received a $1 million donation, the second seven-figure gift in 2011.
Reta Haynes and her last husband, H.J. “Bill” Haynes, had been longtime MGH supporters — a cardiovascular program was already named after them — but the recent offering proved to be a morale boost for MGH’s officials.
“This has been a really great year,” said Jon Friedenberg, president of the Marin General Hospital Foundation.
Friedenberg explained that philanthropy declined during the long battle with Sutter Health, a relationship that resulted in heated political battles, staff protests and a lawsuit. Sutter relinquished control of the hospital on June 30 of last year to a local board of directors.
Since then, Friedenberg said, “Marin General received a new opportunity for philanthropy and the response has been really quite extensive.”
He said that the donations, large and small, are a “vote of confidence in the future of the hospital.
For Haynes, the recent donation was also a look back at history. She and her husband vowed when married in 1945 that they would give back to the community and forged a relationship with MGH.
The $1 million supports several hospital programs: $500,000 is to benefit the hospital’s Marin Cancer Institute, $450,000 to enhance programs and services of the Haynes Cardiovascular Institute and $50,000 to support the Marin Spine and Brain Institute. The Haynes Cardiovascular Institute was named in honor of the Haynes in 2009 for previous contributions.
“We made a decision when we moved to the area, almost 50 years ago, that Marin would be our family’s center for medical care,” said Haynes in a prepared statement. “We have stood by that decision, and all of our physician care has been provided by local doctors.”
Bill Haynes, who died in 2009, was former CEO of the company that became Chevron. He also was a consultant to the Bechtel Corporation until the time of his death. He was one of the first patients to have quadruple bypass surgery in the early 1990s at the hospital and was also a surgical patient at Marin General for bladder cancer. Reta Haynes was a spinal surgery patient there in 2001.
“This latest gift from Reta Haynes is a wonderful vote of confidence in the hospital’s new direction,” said MGH CEO Lee Domanico in a press statement. “
The new funds are earmarked for purchase of a state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner for the Marin Cancer Institute, which specializes in treating breast, prostate, genitourinary, and gastrointestinal cancers. The funds designated for the Haynes Cardiovascular Institute will purchase four critical new pieces of equipment, including a left ventricular assist device to provide a treatment option for critically ill patients experiencing advanced cardiac failure and a 3-D echo machine and 3-D software to enable detailed anatomical assessment of cardiac pathology. Also to be added will be a portable ultrasound unit. The Haynes gift to the Brain and Spine Institute will serve as a key sponsorship of the 2011 Golf Tournament fundraising program.
Friedenberg said there could be a number of factors determining where donations are utilized. Sometimes a donor might have specific ideas based on personal experiences — a cancer survivor might want funds to go toward cancer-related programs. Sometimes the conversation simply leads to what the hospital’s needs may be. For instance, in March the hospital received a $2.89 million donation to expand and upgrade MGH’s Emergency Department.
The donation, one of the largest in the hospital's history, comes from the Schultz family, which has a long history of supporting the hospital through contributions that have improved the current ED, the birthing center, breast imaging center and the Marin Cancer Institute, among others.
Niels Schultz Jr., who died in 2008, was a major advocate for new technologies. A few years ago he funded the linear accelerator for the Marin Cancer Institute. The project will not only increase the patient triage area in the ED from one station to six, but will also upgrade the available technology.