Houston Couple’s Foundation Makes Largest Private Gift to Harris County Hospital District

HOUSTON (April 20, 2011) – Today, the Harris County Hospital District announced its largest single, private donation — a gift of $15 million from The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation to the Harris County Hospital District through the Harris County Hospital District Foundation. The donation is dedicated to the ambulatory care center now being constructed at 2525-A Holly Hall Street. 

“This is a landmark announcement and we are truly grateful to Lester and Sue Smith for their generosity,” said Stephen DonCarlos, chair, Board of Managers, Harris County Hospital District. “Healthcare isn’t just about bricks and mortar and equipment. It’s about supporting a community. This donation makes a bold statement that through philanthropy we have the ability make a significant impact on the healthcare of our community. The gift from The Lester and Sue Smith Foundation will be transformative for many people today and for generations to come, saving lives and generating hope.”

The new five-story facility, designed exclusively for outpatients, will be named Smith Clinic in recognition of the couple’s commitment to improving healthcare for all residents of the region. Smith Clinic, with more than 100 exam rooms, will house outpatient cancer treatment and comprehensive diagnostic services, including two linear accelerators, two MRIs, three ultrasound units, a PET scanner, six digital mammography units, two stereotactic biopsy units and 26 infusion therapy stations.

“Our gift will be allocated to services related to cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Lester Smith, a survivor of bladder and prostate cancer.

Smith Clinic will house the majority of diagnostic and specialty clinics currently located at Ben Taub General Hospital. The 167,807-square-foot building, with landscaping, natural light and a healing garden, will create a patient-centered environment. Annually, Smith Clinic is expected to care for about 160,000 patient care visits.
 
“We want to make available to our neighbors the very best quality of healthcare, the same level of care that Lester and I receive,” said Sue Smith. 

Also named in honor of Lester and Sue Smith are patient care sites that will be housed in the clinic: Smith Breast Center, Smith Infusion Therapy Clinic, Smith Diagnostic Imaging Department, and Smith Oncology Clinic.

“This is the most important time that a gift of this magnitude be given to the Harris County Hospital District, and we are most appreciative,” said H. Ben Taub, chair, Board of Trustees, Harris County Hospital District Foundation.

Smith Clinic is expected to open in late 2012.



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