Mountain View, CA - February 23, 2011 - Los Altos Hills residents Edward and Pamela Taft, community philanthropists and long time supporters of El Camino Hospital, have made a $4 million gift to the hospital which will make possible the establishment of a unique, community hospital-based clinical research program at the Fogarty Institute of Innovation on the El Camino Hospital Mountain View campus.
The gift, one of the largest in the hospital’s history, will be used to establish the Taft Center for Clinical Research, a program which will provide the resources and infrastructure needed to support the investigators and study teams involved in clinical research. The Center, opening in mid-February, will enable physicians, patients and the community to have access to treatments for heart disease, cancer and other diseases based on the latest findings from clinical research and patient studies.
"Pamela and Ed Taft have made a bold statement with this extraordinarily generous gift," says Ann Fyfe, CEO and president of the Fogarty Institute. "There is no question that the Taft's passion and commitment to the funding and support of leading edge research and clinical studies will make a significant difference to the future health of this community. The importance of their gift will only grow in the decades to come."
"Community hospitals, which increasingly are faced with a shortage of funds, must depend more and more on philanthropic support if they are to establish multi-disciplinary centers of excellence, make improvements to aging facilities and keep pace with the latest medical technologies that produce greater operating efficiencies and improved medical care outcomes," says Larry Feder, president of the El Camino Hospital Foundation. "El Camino Hospital is truly fortunate to have the kind of support shown by Edward and Pamela Taft through their most generous gift."
The Taft Center for Clinical Research will be headquartered in office space adjacent to the Fogarty Institute for Innovation, located on the third floor of the Melchor Pavilion, 2490 Hospital Drive. Five employees, including Executive Director Betty deBettencourt, RN, MS will initially staff the 2000-square-foot center. James Joye, DO, director of research and education at the hospital's Heart & Vascular Institute, will be the chief medical officer.
"A strong clinical research program working in tandem with top physicians practicing at a state-of-the-art hospital has long been the vision of the Fogarty Institute of Innovation," says Thomas Fogarty, MD, the Institute’s founder. "The Taft Center for Clinical Research will be a vital and powerful tool in our ongoing quest to improve and prolong patients’ lives through advances in medicine."
Edward and Pamela Taft have been deeply involved in community philanthropy since the couple wed in 2003. In addition to El Camino Hospital, they support the Computer History Museum and the Los Altos History Museum, as well as nonprofits in Boston, where they both grew up. Edward has made a career in software technology in Silicon Valley, including 27 years at Adobe Systems. Pamela is a member of the El Camino Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and is active in several other Foundation activities. Together, they have supported the construction of the new hospital, as well as critical new programs such as robotic surgery, technology and palliative care.
"We feel that it is important to strengthen the ties between the Fogarty Institute of Innovation and El Camino Hospital," says Edward Taft. "Our support for clinical research at the Fogarty Institute will help the hospital attract and retain some of its outstanding and innovative physicians."
"Dr. Fogarty gives of his time so generously," adds Pamela Taft. "We want his Institute to be a huge success during his lifetime, so that he can inspire a new generation of innovators."
About The Fogarty Institute for Innovation
The Fogarty Institute for Innovation is an educational non-profit that mentors, trains and inspires the next generation of medical innovators. The Institute is where physicians and engineers learn to collaborate and understand the integration of their respective fields, in an environment conducive to nurturing the creative process leading the way to the development of technology and breakthroughs to significantly benefit patient care. To learn more, go to www.fogartyinstitute.org.