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Patient Doubles as Donor for Providence St. Joseph

'Grateful' Family Makes Anonymous $53M Gift

Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Orange has a secret—a $53 million secret to be exact.

That’s the amount given last year to the hospital’s foundation from an Orange County couple who have requested to remain anonymous.

The gift is a direct result of the care that the donors received at Providence St. Joseph Hospital, according to a statement from the hospital. The donors were also inspired by the service and sacrifice of Providence St. Joseph caregivers and physicians throughout the pandemic.

“They thought making a gift this size would let the caregivers know that there is this grateful community,” said Kenya Beckmann, Providence’s chief of philanthropy for California.

“It’s a wonderful family that wants to keep the focus on St. Joseph” by remaining anonymous, she added.

The gift, the second largest in Providence history, will create an endowment fund to support the greatest needs of Providence St. Joseph Hospital for years to come.

That gift ranked No. 2 on the Business Journal’s annual list of Largest Charitable Gifts of 2022 (see list, page 20). The foundation also had another anonymous donor who gave nearly $6.6 million, good for No. 10 on the list. Altogether, Providence St. Joseph Hospital Foundation raised nearly $60 million in 2022.

Providence Foundations

St. Joseph is part of Renton, Wash.-based Providence, which is the third-largest not-for-profit health system in the United States, with 120,000 employees at 52 hospitals and 950 clinics. Beckmann oversees 12 foundations in California serving 15 hospitals from Humboldt to Mission Viejo. The foundations raised $163 million in 2022.

Besides St. Joseph, the other two OC hospitals for Providence—Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton—also have foundations. The three foundations employ about 52 in Orange County.

The other two Providence foundations also received gifts that placed the organizations on this year’s list.

Gifts reported on this list to the three foundations totaled $68.6 million, which is the majority of the $91.2 million they raised altogether in 2022.

An anonymous donor gave $2 million to the St. Jude Foundation, ranking No. 33. The Mission Hospital Foundation received $2 million each from the estate of Wilma J. Dickerhoff and the Walter A. Craig Trust.

The Mission foundation, which also received three separate donations for $1 million each, raised $7 million altogether last year.

Gifts reported on this list to the three foundations totaled $68.6 million, which is the majority of the $91.2 million they raised altogether in 2022.

“Orange County is a tremendously generous community,” said Beckmann, who has been involved in OC philanthropy for 20 years. “Healthcare is a key priority for donors.”

In recent years, there’s been a shift toward highlighting the efforts of people, such as donations for nursing scholarships, she said.

Silent Phase

The Providence hospitals are often raising funds for a variety of real estate projects.

For example, St. Joseph is building a 137,000-square-foot Helen Caloggero Women’s & Family Center, named after the late mother of a large benefactor to the hospital, Marsha Moeller, co-founder of Anaheim’s Moeller Manufacturing and Supply. The center will house a wide range of services and amenities, including a mother and baby assessment center, a women’s mental health services center and a birthing center.

Last year, Mission Hospital announced $712 million in expansion plans over the next seven years, including a new hospital and two urgent care facilities in San Clemente and Rancho Mission Viejo. The hospital will be raising anywhere from $200 million to $600 million for this project, Beckmann said.

Last year, the Mission Hospital Foundation held a variety of fundraisers, raising $1.5 million at a Golden Anniversary Celebration Gala and $195,000 at the Valiant Women Fashion Show where 190 guests watched physicians and nurses walk as models down a runway at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo.

The Mission Hospital Foundation’s 40-member board includes Chairman Mark Hebner, founder and president of Irvine-based Index Fund Advisors Inc., a nationally registered investment adviser with $5 billion in assets under management.

“We’re in a silent phase where we try to raise the big gifts by privately talking to people” who might be interested in having their names on the buildings being planned, Hebner told the Business Journal.

He became involved with the foundation because he has a medical background as a nuclear physicist, has personally used the hospital’s services and his wife was a nurse for 30 years at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

“When we were looking for a charity to be involved in, the hospital was a perfect match to our education and careers,” he said. “I think I have a lot to contribute with my management and financial skills. I find it interesting and rewarding to give back.”

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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