Marcus Foundation gifts Boca Regional $15 million for fundraising campaign

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Staff report

The Marcus Foundation has made its second multi-million dollar donation to Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

In 2012, the foundation donated $25 million to create the Marcus Neuroscience Institute. Last month, philanthropists Billi and Bernie Marcus made an additional gift for $15 million toward the hospital’s $250 million fundraising effort “Keeping the Promise…The Campaign for Boca Raton Regional Hospital.”

“No matter how big or small, giving back is critically important,” said Bernie Marcus, Chairman of the Marcus Foundation and co-founder and former CEO of The Home Depot. “At some point in your life, you or your family are going to need Boca Regional and you can play a role in making it better. You can be part of the game. You can be involved.”

Keeping the Promise has already raised $153 million toward its goal. The grant will help renovate and expand the Marcus Neuroscience Institute.

“There are few who understand the value of ensuring the next generation of healthcare better than Bernie and Billi Marcus,” said Lincoln Mendez, President and CEO of BRRH. “We are forever grateful to them for their foresight, relentless spirit, selfless generosity, and commitment to their passion – the Marcus Neuroscience Institute (MNI). They are responsible for enhancing neurological care that ultimately saves lives, as well as supporting the many patients and their families at MNI. There is no greater legacy than that.”

The Marcus Neuroscience Institute includes a comprehensive Stroke Center, a Center for Memory Disorders and Alzheimer’s disease, the Center for Movement Disorders – Parkinson’s Disease, Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis, and the Center for Neuro-Oncology. The Institute boasts some of the world’s most

advanced technology. These state-of-the-art advanced capabilities are housed in the Schmidt Family Pavilion, a two-story facility, adjacent to the main hospital with a spacious lobby, connecting garage, an art gallery, and outdoor courtyards.

Upon its launch in 2012, the Institute transformed the landscape of clinical capabilities at Boca Regional and quickly became one of South Florida’s preeminent neuroscience centers and the provider of choice for patients, physicians, employees. Recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reveal that with an aging population, one of the largest anticipated needs in healthcare will be in the neurosciences. The type of care needed will include the treatment of vascular diseases of the brain such as stroke and transient ischemic attack, Alzheimer’s disease and other memory disorders, Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and malignant and benign brain tumors.

Over the last several years, the demand, and Institute distinction has combined for a utilization explosion…from 360 surgeries in 2015 to 930 surgeries in 2019 and from 2,506 encounters in the MNI outpatient clinic in 2015 to nearly 32,000 encounters in 2019. In order to meet these demands and better serve the patients in the region, the Marcuses gift enabled a Phase I expansion of MNI clinic space and the creation of a new MNI Interventional Radiology room. The new space will elevate and streamline neurological and neurosurgical care at MNI. The renovations will increase capabilities including a MNI controlled Interventional Radiology room adjacent to the Emergency Department. Construction of the second Biplane Angiography Suite is already underway in the Marcus Neuroscience Institute and is expected to be operational this summer. Beyond Phase I is a vision for the development of a Stem Cell program, an enhanced outpatient interventional pain program; and an increase in the number of step down/critical care patient rooms.

The Marcuses are ardent philanthropists who have donated around $2 billion to more than 300 organizations worldwide. Their intention is to give away billions more, accounting for most of their remaining wealth. Bernie Marcus was an early signer of the Giving Pledge, started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, in which billionaires commit to giving away at least half their fortunes during their lifetime.

Their philanthropy and giving spirit has not gone unacknowledged. Bernie and Billi have received The Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, which is given to individuals who have served with distinction in public life. Mr. Marcus was named the inaugural recipient of Inc. 500’s Bernard A. Goldhirsh Award, was inducted into the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame, and has received the USO Patriot Award, the SeaKeeper Award for promoting the restoration and protection of the world’s oceans, and the Anti-Defamation League’s Democratic Legacy Award.

“Bernie and Billi Marcus are among our most vital family members at Boca Raton Regional Hospital,” said Mendez. “There are no accolades that measure their value to our healthcare future.”