The Marcus Foundation’s $30M Hospital Gift Fits With Its Neuroscience Interests

The Marcus Foundation, the Atlanta-based behemoth founded by Bernard “Bernie” Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot and a Giving Pledge signatory, has deep pockets and isn’t afraid to use them.

The latest news from this funder is that it's giving $30 million to expand Atlanta’s Grady Health System—$20 million for a new emergency center, and $10 million for the addition of an outpatient center to the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center.

Grady’s campaign for a new emergency center had already raised $50 million of a total $76 million needed, and construction work is under way. The center is scheduled to be complete in 2016. While there is no start date yet established for the Marcus Stoke and Neuroscience center expansion, it is clear that bolstering the emergency care facility will help cement Grady’s reputation as a world-class treatment center.

The expansion will enhance Grady’s already considerable prestige, and advance its goal of efficient, quick assessments of brain injuries and mental health cases at the emergency room level. “The state-of-the-art Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center and the Marcus Trauma Center have saved thousands of lives,” said Grady President and CEO John Haupert. “This new funding will allow Grady to enhance its role as the state's leading provider of emergency care and make our outpatient neurology services among the best in the nation.”

It should be noted that Marcus has a history with the Grady Health System. In 2009, the foundation gifted $20 million to Grady to help improve emergency care for trauma victims—especially those suffering from neurological injury. "Our continued support is a testament to our firm belief that Grady is essential to the health and well-being of not just Atlanta and the metro area, but the entire state of Georgia,” said Bernie Marcus, Marcus Foundation Chairman. “By helping to create and expand its nationally and internationally renowned emergency and stroke services, The Marcus Foundation is making an investment that we believe will make Grady the national standard of emergency care.” 

It seems the foundation may have brains on the brain in a very real way. Earlier this year, it put up $15 million to support the first two years of a trial at Duke Medical exploring whether umbilical cord blood could be used to treat autism, cerebral palsy, and stroke.

Related: This Home Depot Co-Founder is Funding Out-There Brain Science

The foundation has strong mental health interests, too. Over the years, it’s given over $3 million to the Link Counseling Center in Atlanta and the Kevereaux Foundation in Kennesaw.