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Yawkey Foundation contributes $25 million to Massachusetts General Hospital
Grant to expand access to care and services for all patients

Photos: Senator Kennedy arrives | Press conference gets under way | John Harrington announces gift

BOSTON - May 6, 2002 - The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) today announced that the Yawkey Foundation has committed $25 million over the next eight years to support the hospital's efforts to expand access to vital outpatient care and services. The gift represents the largest contribution to MGH in its history.

To recognize the generosity of the foundation, the MGH will name its new outpatient facility, currently under construction, the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care.

Jean R. Yawkey, who with her husband, Tom, were long-time owners of the Boston Red Sox, received her medical care at the MGH. She was a strong advocate of the work of the hospital and supported many of its programs and initiatives both personally and through her foundation. Since Mrs. Yawkey's death in 1992, the trustees of the Yawkey Foundation have continued her tradition of charitable giving to the MGH.

The $25 million Yawkey commitment will enhance access to many of the services that were important to Mrs. Yawkey, including women's health, pediatrics, cancer and cardiology. Outpatient programs in these clinical specialties will be located in the new Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, which is scheduled to open in 2004. MGH will receive $1 million of the grant this fiscal year with the remaining contribution phased in over the next seven years.

"The MGH is truly honored by the Yawkey Foundation's magnificent gift," said James. J. Mongan, MD, president of the MGH. "Through this contribution, the foundation's trustees are honoring Mrs. Yawkey's well-known dedication and resolve to make the highest quality health care available to all citizens in our community, particularly the underserved. This is a commitment that has long been shared by this hospital. We are very grateful that the Yawkey Foundation has looked to the MGH as its ally in fulfilling this critically important mission."

The MGH provides care for all patients, regardless of ability to pay, offering more free care than any other private hospital in the commonwealth. Last year, the MGH and its physicians provided nearly $70 million in unreimbursed care and services to patients.

In addition, the hospital offers many programs and services aimed at addressing the special needs of high-risk and underserved individuals. The MGH in recent years has made significant investments in its community health centers - in Chelsea, Revere, Charlestown, the North End and Back Bay - and as a result, visits to these facilities have increased by more than 50 percent since 1996. Similarly, at the MGH's main campus in Boston, programs that serve the homeless, infants and children, low-income families, pregnant women, immigrants, domestic violence victims, the elderly and the disabled have expanded in both scope and demand in recent years (link to more information about MGH community programs).

Coupled with the expansion of special programs for high-risk individuals has been a dramatic increase in the number of patients seeking care in the hospital's many outpatient programs in primary and specialty care. In the past 20 years, more and more care has moved from the inpatient to the outpatient setting. Ambulatory visits at the MGH in recent years have been rising anywhere from 5 to 10 percent annually, with visits last year numbering more than 1.3 million. Despite this growth trend, which is projected to continue, the MGH has not built a facility dedicated to outpatient care for 20 years.

"Simply put, we are out of space for outpatient care," said W. Gerald Austen, MD, MGH surgeon-in-chief emeritus and co-chairman of the MGH Leadership Campaign. "But we are very pleased and excited that construction of our new ambulatory building is under way, and in just a few years, we will be opening the doors to the state-of-the-art Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care. In this wonderful new facility we will offer the excellent care that patients and families expect and deserve in a much more organized, convenient and comfortable way. We are enormously appreciative that the Yawkey Foundation understands the importance of timely access to high-quality care and has chosen to support our efforts to ensure that outpatient services are available to all who need them when they need them."

John L. Harrington, executive director and trustee of the Yawkey Foundation said: "This gift to Mass General Hospital, a place of healing and hope for countless New Englanders, will ensure that the Yawkeys' impact will be felt in our community for generations to come. Throughout their lives, Tom and Jean Yawkey set an inspiring example by contributing generously to those institutions that serve, support and have a direct impact on people in our community."

When completed in 2004, the MGH's Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, will be the largest and most comprehensive ambulatory care resource in New England. The 10-story, 320,000-square-foot facility will house the outpatient activities of the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, the MGH Women's Health Program, the MGH Cancer Center, the Cardiovascular Program and the Musculoskeletal Program.

Yawkey Foundation I was established in 1976 by Thomas A Yawkey, and Yawkey Foundation II was established in the early 1980s by Jean R. Yawkey to further serve the family's charitable goals. Since the deaths of the Yawkeys, the foundations' Boards of Trustees have continued the Yawkeys' legacy, contributing in excess of $40 million to organizations large and small that share the foundations' charitable objectives. Since the sale of the Yawkey family's primary asset, the Boston Red Sox, the Yawkey Foundations have experienced exponential growth, which will allow them to have a transformative impact on the social issues the Yawkeys cared about: health care, social services, youth, education, sports and conservation.

Media Contacts: Peggy Slasman, MGH Public Affairs
Jodi D'Urso-Matthews, Yawkey Foundation

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