PORTLAND, Maine – Maine Medical Center (MMC) announced the largest single philanthropic gift in the hospital’s 150-year history Tuesday, a $25 million donation by John and Leslie Malone towards The NEXT 150|The Campaign for Maine Medical Center. With this gift, and those of other benefactors, MMC has now raised $135 million toward its goal of a $150 million investment in its mission and vision.
The NEXT 150 co-chair and MaineHealth Trustee Bill Burke announced the gift by the Malones Tuesday evening as part of a virtual launch event for the public phase of MMC’s capital campaign. This fundraising effort comes 150 years after the cornerstone of the hospital – then Maine General Hospital – was set in the summer of 1871. It raises funds to support three critical priorities: building modern and adaptable facilities at MMC, educating the next generation of caregivers in Maine and innovating solutions to improve patient care.
“This amazing philanthropic commitment by John and Leslie is truly transformational,” Burke said. “Their remarkable generosity will help Maine Medical Center meet its goals for this campaign and achieve our vision for improving healthcare in the great state of Maine.”
In recognition and appreciation of John and Leslie Malone’s gift to The NEXT 150, MMC will be naming its newest building, currently under construction on Congress Street, as the Malone Family Tower.
“We are very grateful to John and Leslie Malone for their generosity and belief in Maine Medical Center,” said MMC President Jeff Sanders. “The Malone Family Tower will be the most advanced healthcare facility in the state of Maine, and will stand as a beacon of excellent cardiovascular and surgical care for our region. It will vastly improve the healing experience for our patients and the work environment for our care team members. When opened, the Malone Family Tower will go a long way toward meeting our shared goals of modern procedure rooms, increased access to specialty care, additional private rooms and reduced wait times in our Emergency Department.”
Construction of the 265,000-square-foot Malone Family Tower is expected to be complete in 2023, creating 64 private patient rooms and 19 procedure rooms. It is the final piece of MMC’s $534 million expansion and modernization project that was first announced in September 2016. So far, the project has added 64 new private patient rooms and a new heliport atop the hospital’s Coulombe Family Tower, 225 additional parking spaces for patients and visitors and a new employee parking garage. Maine Medical Partners, MMC’s outpatient department, also recently opened a new 108,000-square-foot medical office building for specialty care on its Scarborough campus.
The Malones are summer residents of Boothbay, Maine. John is a vanguard in the media industry, serving as chairman of Liberty Media and Liberty Global, among other entities. Leslie is an accomplished equestrian and horse breeder, as well as a grateful patient of Maine Medical Center where she received cardiac care. The couple understands first-hand how important the projects of The NEXT 150 are to the health of the people of Maine.
“We were very impressed by the level of care that Leslie received at Maine Medical Center,” said John Malone. “We believe strongly in supporting healthcare innovation, and ensuring that all who call Maine home have access to world-class care.”
During Tuesday night’s virtual kickoff to The NEXT 150, emcee Jenna Bush Hager, co-host of NBC’s TODAY with Hoda & Jenna and editor-at-large for Southern Living Magazine, explained how the $150 million capital campaign invests in more than infrastructure. It also invests in the education of Maine’s future caregivers and MMC’s care team members, and in research and innovation. Among the programs supported by The NEXT 150 are the Tufts University School of Medicine – Maine Medical Center Maine Track program, which provides scholarships and clinical training at MMC to medical students who are interested in practicing rural medicine in Maine; the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, which conducts both biomedical research as well as clinical trials that target health conditions common in Maine; and the new MaineHealth Innovation Center, which helps connect innovators at MMC and across MaineHealth with the education, funding and mentorship they need to use creative solutions to meet complex care needs.
President George W. Bush provided a videotaped message during the event, expressing his family’s support of the campaign and why it was so important to him and First Lady Laura Bush to invest in the future of Maine Medical Center.
“Toward the end of my dad’s life, the Maine Medical Center staff were unbelievably nurturing – not only to him, but to those of us who loved him dearly. When Mom got sick she went there and they treated her unbelievably well,” President Bush said. “Capital campaigns mean that a good health care system will remain a good health care system. Maine Medical Center is a source of excellence, and therefore Laura and I are proud contributors.”
Maine Medical Center invites the public to join its efforts to improve the health of our community through participating in The NEXT 150 by visiting its interactive website at next150.mmc.org