PHCS News

University Medical Center at Princeton Announces $25 Million Challenge Gift

Mar 10, 2008

Largest Individual Donation Ever to a New Jersey Hospital; Rendering Provides Public's First Look at New Facility

Princeton, NJ  - David and Patricia Atkinson, long-time area residents, have pledged $25 million in support of the new University Medical Center at Princeton (UMCP), the acute care hospital of Princeton HealthCare System. The replacement hospital is scheduled to open in 2011. The Atkinson donation, when fulfilled, will represent the largest gift ever made to a hospital in New Jersey.

Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson, former residents of West Windsor, plan to make their contribution as part of a matching gift program in order to encourage other donations to the new hospital. A portion of their gift will be set aside to match gifts from physicians and hospital staff. The remainder will be used to encourage others within the region to make gifts toward the construction. "Pat and I are excited by the giving opportunity created by the new hospital," said Mr. Atkinson. "The existing Princeton hospital has played an important role in our lives. Both of my parents received treatment in the hospital's intensive care unit. I had major surgery at the facility some years ago. Two of our five grandchildren were born there. We are particularly excited by the idea that the new hospital represents an opportunity to create a new facility from the ground up that incorporates both the latest medical technology and best thinking in hospital design."

"This gift will enable Princeton HealthCare System to redefine how healthcare is provided throughout the region. It will enhance significantly the quality of the lives of our patients and their families," said Barry S. Rabner, President and CEO of Princeton HealthCare System. "Right now, our physicians and staff are working closely with some of the most creative and knowledgeable architects, engineers and healthcare planners in the country to design the new hospital. The Atkinson's gift makes it possible for us to incorporate best practices in every area of the facility, as well as to develop innovative solutions in the healthcare field. These advancements will benefit the people we serve and allow us to be a model for other hospitals throughout the country. We are exceedingly grateful to David and Pat for this extraordinary gift. We thank them for sharing our passion and vision."

To encourage hospital physicians and staff to support the construction project, $5 million of the Atkinson pledge will be used as a one-to-one match; physicians and hospital staff who give gifts or make pledges for the hospital relocation project will have their support matched by this fund. "We hope that this challenge to our medical and dental staffs as well as all our employees will encourage their philanthropic support of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - to build a state-of-the-art hospital for this community and this region," said Dr. Peter Yi, co-chair of the Physician's Development Committee.

The remainder of the pledge will be used as a one-to-two match for gifts toward the construction of the new UMCP. Through this program, the Atkinson's $20 million could raise an extra $40 million. The matching program is available from June 6, 2008, the launch of the public phase of the Capital Campaign, through December 31, 2010.

"To date we have received great support from members of the Princeton HealthCare System Board, the PHCS Foundation Board, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb," said Steve Distler, chairman of the Capital Campaign. "This matching gift opportunity will enable us to reach further within our community and engage more people in supporting the Capital Campaign. Thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson and others, we will soon begin construction on a model hospital that will serve people living in the area."

Mr. Atkinson is a private investor who maintains an office in the Princeton area. He retired in 1992 as a general partner of Miller, Anderson & Sherrerd (MAS), a suburban Philadelphia-based money management firm. Morgan Stanley acquired his limited partnership interest when it purchased MAS in the mid-1990's. Prior to joining MAS in 1980, Mr. Atkinson was a vice president at Morgan Stanley, where he started an emerging growth stock service and published a weekly commentary on liquidity trends and their implication for equity prices. Prior to Morgan Stanley, he was a partner at Franklin Capital Investors, which managed the University of Pennsylvania endowment. Before Franklin, Mr. Atkinson managed a mutual fund for Scudder, Stevens & Clark that invested in emerging growth stocks. After receiving an MBA from Wharton, his first six years in the investment business were spent at J.P. Morgan where he was an investment research analyst and a pension portfolio manager.

Before attending Wharton, Mr. Atkinson was an officer in the U.S. Navy for two years, after having received an undergraduate degree from Cornell University. Mr. Atkinson grew up on a farm outside New Egypt, NJ, and graduated from Allentown High School in Allentown, NJ. He is a life member of the Cornell University Council. With a passionate interest in sustainability and environmental issues, last year Mr. Atkinson provided seed money for Cornell University to establish a Center for a Sustainable Future. The Center focuses on energy, the environment and economic development. The Center takes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing these complex and interrelated subjects.

Mrs. Atkinson was active in the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary for many years. She served as membership chair for 10 years and as treasurer for two years. Mrs. Atkinson has also been a volunteer for the Princeton Meals on Wheels Program for more than 20 years. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California.

Together, Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson have been longstanding PHCS Foundation and Auxiliary donors. They currently reside in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Atkinson noted how special the opportunity to create a new hospital was, commenting that "few hospitals have this opportunity and most are faced by necessity to resort to making modifications as best they can to old facilities. This new hospital should result in the Princeton area having one of the very best, if not the best, regional hospitals in the United States." The Atkinsons said they are pleased that their $25 million challenge makes it possible for the citizens, businesses, medical professionals and academic institutions of Central New Jersey to magnify their gifts to this worthwhile cause. Based on personal experience, they have learned that one never knows when the quality of care at the local hospital can become the most important thing in either one's own life or that of a family member.

"This astonishing gift, being made by two caring and extraordinary people, will greatly enhance our fund raising efforts and allow us to build a new hospital that will provide superior healthcare to the region for years to come," said Joe Stampe, vice president of Development for Princeton HealthCare System Foundation.

The architectural rendering released by UMCP today shows a sleek, modern structure being designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum and RMJM Hiller. Click here to view renderings and continue the press release.