Tidelands Health receives one of the largest philanthropic gifts in the region’s history, completes $42M surgery pavilion
A new $42 million surgery pavilion at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital will be named in memory of former Boston Red Sox owners and noted philanthropists Tom and Jean Yawkey, whose foundations are donating $10 million to support major enhancements to the hospital.
The Massachusetts-based Yawkey Foundations’ gift is the largest in the history of Tidelands Health and one of the largest ever awarded to an organization in the region. The gift will help fund the ongoing $124 million expansion and renovation of Tidelands Georgetown that began in 2013 and is slated for completion in 2019.
In recognition of the Yawkey Foundations’ tremendous support, the 43,500-square-foot surgery pavilion will be named the Yawkey Surgery Pavilion in honor of Tom and Jean Yawkey.
“From the very beginning, the Yawkey name has been synonymous with Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health. “In 1945, Tom Yawkey donated $100,000 to help build a hospital in Georgetown. Over the years, he and his wife, Jean, and, later, the Yawkey Foundations have continued that legacy of giving.”
Added M.P. “Squeaky” Swenson, chair of the Tidelands Health Foundation, “Words alone cannot express our gratitude. It is not hyperbole to say thousands of lives in Georgetown and the surrounding area have been and will continue to be improved thanks to the Yawkeys and the Yawkey Foundations.”
Completion of the Yawkey Surgery Pavilion is a major milestone in the ongoing redevelopment of the Tidelands Georgetown campus. The multiyear project has also included new and larger patient rooms, expanded parking, a new women’s services unit, a new laboratory and a new entrance and first-floor mall area, among other enhancements.
In addition to naming the surgery pavilion after the Yawkeys, the family’s support for Tidelands Georgetown will also be recognized as part of a new history wall inside the hospital. The wall explores the history of Tidelands Health and how the not-for-profit health system has grown to meet the region’s health care needs.
A plaque in the new surgery pavilion will also recognize the late Dr. William Armstrong, the first surgeon at Tidelands Georgetown, and his wife, Ellie, who was a longtime member of the Yawkey Foundations board.
“Access to high-quality health care, particularly among disadvantaged members of the community, was extremely important to Tom and Jean Yawkey,” said James P. Healey, president and trustee of the Yawkey Foundations. “This donation toward improvements at Tidelands Georgetown continues a relationship that has extended for decades and resulted in tremendous benefit to the Georgetown community.”
In the earliest days of what is now Tidelands Health, Tom Yawkey donated funds for construction of Tidelands Georgetown, a nurses’ home and a laundry building. In the 1960s, the Thomas A. Yawkey Wing at Tidelands Georgetown was named in his honor.
After his passing in 1976, Jean Yawkey continued her husband’s generosity, contributing toward construction of a surgical suite at Tidelands Georgetown. In 2003, a $5 million gift from the Yawkey Foundations helped fund construction of Yawkey Medical Park and the Tidelands Francis B. Ford Cancer Treatment Center.
Most recently, the Yawkey Foundations have provided vital financial support for Tidelands Community Care Network, which coordinates access to care for the uninsured and medically underserved residents of the region.
“The generosity of the Yawkey family and, later, the Yawkey Foundations, has made an indelible impact on our community,” said H. McRoy Skipper Jr., CPA, chairman of the Tidelands Health board of trustees. “Through their foundations, Tom and Jean Yawkey’s spirit of generosity lives on and continues to meaningfully impact lives in our community.”
The new Yawkey Surgery Pavilion, which faces Black River Road, replaces the hospital’s existing surgery suites and will be equipped with the latest equipment and technology to advance treatment and care. It includes four operating suites and two additional rooms for endoscopy and new procedures.
The surgery pavilion was designed to improve flow and increase efficiency, particularly for outpatient surgeries, which constitutes the greatest percentage of surgeries performed at the hospital each year.
Patients will begin to receive care at the Yawkey Surgery Pavilion when it opens in March.