Melanie and Richard Lundquist Fund Largest Donation in History of Medical Center
Melanie and Richard Lundquist
Torrance, CA-Melanie and Richard Lundquist surprised more than 600 guests at the annual Holiday Festival Gala on December 1 with the announcement of a gift of $10 million to establish the Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute and an additional $3 million contribution to fund the expansion of the Emergency Department at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
"The Lundquist's $13 million donation will greatly benefit South Bay residents," says Laura Schenasi, executive vice president of the Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation. "We are truly honored by this tremendous commitment. With this gift, the largest in the history of the medical center, the Lundquists set a noble example we hope others will follow. Their generosity provides essential support in acquiring and administering advanced life-saving technology and treatments."
The Lundquists have a long-standing commitment to philanthropy. Supporting numerous cultural, educational and other nonprofit organizations, they felt a donation to support cardiovascular research, programs and education was important.
"With a history of heart disease in the family and its prevalence in our society, we are especially interested in seeking medical advances in cardiovascular medicine," says Richard Lundquist. "Torrance Memorial has outstanding leadership and the organizational stability to provide advanced care and research that will benefit our community and beyond."
The Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute will access the latest cardiovascular research in order to promote prevention, early detection and interventional therapies to treat vascular and heart disease. Endowment funds will support programmatic goals for the medical center's cardiovascular services.
"The Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute will enable an advanced model of care that is unique among hospitals today," says Torrance Memorial radiologist Richard Hoffman, M.D., director of Cardiovascular Radiology.
"The Institute will integrate the disciplines of cardiology, endocrinology, radiology, vascular surgery, emergency medicine and internal medicine sub-specialties to treat patients with cardiovascular disease. This collaboration of clinical specialists, in addition to the practice of translational medicine, where clinical research is integrated into general practices, will result in significant benefits in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease," says cardiologist and Torrance Memorial Director of Cardiology Program Development, Mark Lurie, M.D.
The Lundquists view their contribution to the Emergency Department expansion project as another way to make a difference in the South Bay community.
"Strong hospitals and excellent emergency departments are essential to our community," says Melanie Lundquist. "The Emergency Department is the entry point - or an extension of cardiovascular care services. Torrance Memorial sees large numbers of emergency patients with chest pain," says Torrance Memorial Emergency Department Co-Medical Director Gerald Reich, M.D.
"Until they need emergency care, people are often unaware that, with the closing of numerous emergency departments in the country and throughout the state, there is a crisis in emergency medicine in California," continues Dr. Reich. "A gift like this helps ensure access to quality emergency care to members of our community and preserves the healthcare safety net that emergency departments provide."
"From the moment a patient arrives, the team of emergency physicians and specially-trained nurses provide life-saving cardiac care," adds Torrance Memorial Emergency Department Co-Medical Director Franklin Pratt, M.D.
"Cardiovascular disease presents itself all too often as a heart attack, and sadly, sometimes sudden death. Sixty percent of men and 50 percent of women who have a heart attack had no prior knowledge of their cardiovascular disease," adds Dr. Lurie.
"The Lundquist's gift to the community is truly a magnificent contribution to both Torrance Memorial and the advancement of cardiovascular research, diagnosis, treatment and the prevention of cardiovascular disease," says Torrance Memorial President and CEO, Craig Leach.
Making this gift to the medical center is in line with the Lundquist's philosophy of philanthropy. "It is about the desire to re-invest back into society for the well-being of many," says Melanie Lundquist. "We all have an ability to make a difference. It is incumbent upon each of us to do so."