A $21 million posthumous gift from the estate of a man whose values included integrity and passion for life has enabled UC Irvine to reach its fundraising goal for the university hospital at UC Irvine Medical Center.

The largest single cash gift in campus history comes from the estate of M.A. Douglas, formerly a resident of Orange. In recognition of the generous donation, the university’s new seven-story hospital in Orange will be renamed UC Irvine Douglas Hospital.

“Our long-held commitment is to deliver the finest healthcare to our Orange County community and beyond; this transformative gift dramatically improves our ability to do so,” said Chancellor Michael Drake.

Terry A. Belmont, interim chief executive officer of UC Irvine Medical Center, said: “This magnificent gift enables us to more fully tap the power of superior medical research, excellence in patient care and our incredible teaching programs in medicine and nursing.”

The 482,428-square-foot facility replaces the original hospital building, which was built in 1960. Most of the 191 patient rooms are private and offer ample space for families and multidisciplinary care teams; the 15 state-of-the-art operating rooms are 50 percent larger than those used previously. The completion of Phase II in November 2011 will add four more operating rooms and 45 more patient rooms.

Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, interim School of Medicine dean and urology professor said: “Our new hospital touches every person’s life in Orange County; everyone knows someone who has received care here.

“Whether it’s helping families with a birth, healing people after an accident or providing the least invasive or latest therapies, this is the place to come for the most innovative, leading-edge care.”

He added, “I believe that the exceptional level of care we provide here is among the best in the country. At UC Irvine Medical Center, we provide the kind of care today that others will be learning tomorrow.”

Michael Hayde, trustee of the Douglas estate and a partner and friend of the donor, said Douglas was a Colorado native who came from humble beginnings and built a 33-year career with B.F. Goodrich, later becoming a successful real estate developer.

“Doug was all about commitment and responsibility,” Hayde noted. “I can’t think of a better way to honor his legacy than naming this wonderful new hospital the UC Irvine Douglas Hospital.”

“The gift from the Douglas estate will benefit thousands of families who use this new hospital, and given that his business was founded in this county, it is an appropriate connection with his life here,” Hayde added.

Douglas was known for his business acumen and real estate partnerships that helped develop Orange County. While he traveled the world late in life, he spent his early years in Colorado in a tiny, dirt-floored cabin built from railroad ties. When he was 6, his family worked as migrant laborers on the West Coast before settling in Oregon. Douglas left home at 14 and headed to Los Angeles, where he pursued his career at B.F. Goodrich.

In 1963, Douglas founded IPS, which developed, built and managed more than 10,000 apartment units, primarily in Orange County. His office was just a few blocks from the hospital that now bears his name.

The $21 million Douglas estate gift has enabled UC Irvine to reach its $50 million fundraising goal for the new hospital at UC Irvine Medical Center. The UC Irvine Douglas Hospital building, dedicated in January, will increase the medical center’s total number of patient beds to 424.

“Mr. Douglas’ generous gift caps a transformational capital campaign led by Tom and Elizabeth Tierney and embraced by so many of our community friends – even during these very difficult economic times,” said Thomas J. Mitchell, vice chancellor of university advancement. “Perhaps nothing speaks more effectively about the value we place on high-quality, comprehensive healthcare than this successful campaign effort.”

UC Irvine Douglas Hospital is at the heart of Orange County’s only university medical center. It has been ranked among “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report for eight consecutive years, is one of only 33 hospitals nationally with a Leapfrog ranking for quality and safety, and has twice received the Magnet designation for nursing excellence. It also is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and was the first in Southern California to receive Primary Stroke Center designation from The Joint Commission.

Tom and Elizabeth Tierney, who served as co-chairs of the hospital’s fundraising committee for the UC Irvine Foundation, said the gift caps a $50 million multiyear effort to generate private support for the new hospital. “The UC Irvine Douglas Hospital is more than a building,” Tom Tierney said. “It’s a tangible symbol that Orange County continues to provide medical excellence that can be achieved only by a premier academic medical center.”

About UC Irvine Medical Center: UC Irvine Medical Center is Orange County’s only university hospital, Level I trauma center, American College of Surgeons-verified regional burn center and National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. It offers acute- and general-care service.

About the University of California, Irvine: UC Irvine is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Founded in 1965, UC Irvine is among the fastest-growing University of California campuses, with more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,200 staff. The top employer in dynamic Orange County, UC Irvine contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UC Irvine news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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