Henry L. "Hank" Foster, DVM, a longtime member of the MGH Board of Trustees, died Oct. 14 after a long illness. He was 83 years old.
A dedicated supporter of the MGH, Foster served on the board beginning in 1988 and was named an honorary trustee in 1997. He also served as a trustee of the MGPO from 1994 to 1997.
After earning his degree as a doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Middlesex Veterinary College in 1946, Foster founded Charles River Laboratories in1947 with the goal of creating a new standard in laboratory animal models for the research community. He served as president, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, which today has grown to include more than 60 facilities in 15 countries and works with leading organizations in a number of industries to provide products and services for all stages of drug discovery and development. In honor of these achievements, Foster was awarded honorary doctoral degrees by Brandeis University and Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.
Foster served as a trustee of McLean Hospital from 1988 to 1991 and as a Partners HealthCare Corporation member since 1994. He was a trustee and former chairman of the board of Brandeis University, a trustee of Tufts University, former chairman of the Board of Overseers of Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine and former chairman of the board of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A generous benefactor, he and his wife, Lois, provided support for the establishment of the top floor of the Phillips House when the Ellison Building opened at the MGH in 1992.
Foster is survived by his wife; his children James, John and Neal; his grandchildren and other family members, loved ones and friends. A funeral service was held Oct. 16.