The family foundation of billionaire biotech entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong and wife Michele Chan on Thursday gave St. John's Health Center $100 million to support operations of a new group of institutes aimed at changing the way health care is delivered.
Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation’s gift to establish the Chan Soon-Shiong Centers at St. John's Health Center was announced at the dedication of the Chan Soon-Shiong Live Sciences Center, part of a newly refurbished 26-acre hospital campus in Santa Monica that includes the Howard Keck Center which opened in August.
Soon-Shiong, the founder of Los Angeles cancer drug developer Abraxis BioScience Inc., gave the Catholic hospital $35 million in 2007 to help complete fund-raising for rebuilding the patient wings and other departments to meet stricter state earthquake codes. The announcement at the time included establishment of the Chan Soon-Shiong Translational Research Institute, aimed at making cutting-edge biotech and other treatments available to patients sooner.
Thursday’s event announced establishment of additional centers, including the Chan Soon-Shiong Center for Health Informatics, the Chan Soon-Shiong Neuroscience Institute and Brain Tumor Center, and the Wireless Health Institute. The foundation offices also will have offices there. The life sciences center includes a 185-bed patient wing and critical care, oncology, orthopedics, cardiac and telemetry acute care units. The adjoining Keck building houses the hospital’s emergency, medical imaging and cancer treatment departments.
“Technology that could save lives wasn’t being put to work. I knew we had to get world class scientists connected to world class doctors,” said Soon-Shiong, a former UCLA researcher who made his fortune developing cancer and other drugs. “Too often they live in separate worlds.”
The new institutes will be working with institutes at other area research hospitals, such as UCLA’s California Nano-Systems Institute that Soon-Shiong also supports, to create a “hospital of the future,” according to Lou Lazatin, chief executive of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth hospital.
“Patrick has challenged us to bring together experts from all over the country, from every discipline imaginable, to work together to provide the best care,” Lazatin said in a statement.
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