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U. Michigan announces $50M gift to health system

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm •  Published: March 21, 2013

DETROIT (AP) — The University of Michigan Health System on Thursday announced one of its biggest gifts in the form of a $50 million philanthropic donation to its Cardiovascular Center.

The university received half of the money from the Samuel and Jean Frankel Foundation in 2007 when the center opened, but the university did not name the donor until Thursday.

The center will be named after the Frankels, who had promised the additional $25 million if the health center met certain goals agreed upon by its leaders and the foundation. Areas measured included patient satisfaction, joint departmental appointments and clinical results.

Samuel Frankel, a longtime Detroit-area real estate developer, died in 2008, and his wife died last year.

"The gift guarantees that innovative approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of patients and families with cardiovascular disease will continue at Michigan and provide a national model," Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, the health system's chief executive, said in a statement.

The center emphasizes cooperation among health professionals and focuses on patients and families.

The Frankels, students at the university in the 1930s, also donated $20 million to endow the university's Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies. The Frankel family has supported other schools and facilities at the university, as well as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts and Jewish schools and organizations in suburban Detroit and Jerusalem.

The Frankels' collective gifts are among the largest to the health system and overall university. Shopping mall mogul A. Alfred Taubman has donated $140 million to the university, much of it to research institutes and buildings that bear his name. Philanthropists William and Delores Brehm have donated more than $60 million to support a range of projects and programs, including an eight-story addition to the Kellogg Eye Center and the founding of the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research & Analysis.

Earlier this month, the university announced that the wife of billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell was giving $50 million to support the University of Michigan's acclaimed graduate writing program. Helen Zell, who earned her English degree at Michigan in 1964, has supported the Michigan program with smaller gifts totaling more than $10 million over more than a decade.


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