TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Torrance Memorial Medical Center leadership and community members were joined this morning by local elected officials from throughout the South Bay to announce a $32 million donation by philanthropists Melanie and Richard Lundquist to establish a Neuroscience Institute and an Orthopedic and Spine Institute at the 470-bed nonprofit medical center located in Torrance, California. Today’s contribution, combined with the Lundquists’ previous contributions of $68 million to the hospital, gives Torrance Memorial Medical Center the distinction of receiving $100 million from a single donor — the largest known contribution to a non-teaching/research hospital in the United States.
“When paramedics respond to an emergency, they will most likely transport you to your local hospital; it’s critical that as a society we build the expertise, training and medical staffs of our local hospitals and not focus philanthropic dollars solely on the major teaching and research institutions,” said Melanie Lundquist.
“We are committed to Torrance Memorial Medical Center, which is extraordinarily well-run and has been providing valuable medical care to South Bay communities for over 90 years,” continued Ms. Lundquist. “What started out as a local community hospital has, through strong leadership, an exceptional medical staff, financial stability and philanthropy, become a highly regarded regional medical center. Our commitment of $100 million is intended to send a clear message both locally and nationally—support the hospitals in your communities and help make them better.”
The Lundquists’ $32 million donation will establish an Orthopedic and Spine Institute as well as a Neuroscience Institute at the hospital where 8,000-10,000 orthopedic, spinal, neurosurgical, and neurological patients were served last year. The focus on orthopedics and spine surgery will allow Torrance Memorial to expand its capabilities and recruit surgeons in these specialties. The hospital also intends to establish new ambulatory locations for orthopedic and spine medical services, reducing the need for patients to leave the South Bay. The Neuroscience Institute—one of the only such programs at a non-academic hospital in Los Angeles County—will mean that patients with neurological needs, which previously had to be referred out of the area, could be cared for at Torrance Memorial. Additional funding will go to upgrade the surgical and ICU capabilities at the hospital.
Today’s announcement follows Torrance Memorial’s news last month of a proposed plan for a formal affiliation with Cedars-Sinai Health System, the parent company of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a world-renowned 886-bed medical center and multi-specialty academic health science center serving the Los Angeles region. The agreement is designed to strengthen both organizations’ ability to serve the community and to enhance access, coordination and quality of care for the public.
“Melanie and Richard are true community heroes, as their financial commitment will make a real and long-term difference in the lives of countless people,” said Craig Leach, President/CEO, Torrance Memorial Medical Center. “And the timing of their gift, following our affiliation agreement with Cedars-Sinai, sends a powerful message about the positive future of Torrance Memorial and the communities we serve.”
“The Cedars-Sinai and Torrance Memorial affiliation is great for the community and creates a new frontier for the hospital,” said Richard Lundquist. “The affiliation will provide a platform for future collaborations in primary and specialty care. Torrance Memorial and the community will benefit from access to the latest clinical trials and sub-specialists at Cedars as well.”
The Lundquists’ commitment to Torrance Memorial stretches back to 1985 when Melanie was a volunteer at the hospital. Melanie’s inside view of the hospital’s operations motivated her to become more involved. Over the last 11 years, the Lundquists established a Cardiovascular Institute, significantly expanded beds in the hospital’s Emergency Room and helped to fund the Lundquist Tower, a 256-bed all-private room hospital. The Lundquists provided in the $50 million donor agreement that their name should be removed from the building when naming rights could be used to attract another significant donor in the future.
“The $100 million contribution Melanie and Richard have made to Torrance Memorial will have an immeasurable impact on the health of the South Bay communities,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “By focusing resources on improving a key community hospital, the Lundquists are helping to strengthen the safety net for health care in our entire region. They are also making a strong statement about the role of philanthropy in building stronger communities by ensuring that healthcare is accessible and being constantly improved.”
Before her election to the LA County Board of Supervisors this past November, Hahn represented California's 44th District (including much of the area served by Torrance Memorial) in Congress from 2011 to 2016.
About Torrance Memorial Medical Center
Founded in 1925 by Jared Sidney and Helena Childs Torrance, Torrance Memorial Medical Center is a 470-bed, nonprofit medical center established to provide quality healthcare services predominantly to the residents of the South Bay, Peninsula and Harbor communities. Torrance Memorial seeks to offer the most current and effective medical technologies rendered in a compassionate, caring manner. In 2012, it joined the ranks of the top hospitals in the nation by earning coveted Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognizes nursing excellence. Torrance Memorial also has been ranked as one of the best hospitals for 2016-17 in California and the Los Angeles metro area for the fifth straight year by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, please visit: www.TorranceMemorial.org.