Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXV, No. 6
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
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Princeton HealthCare System Expands Fundraising Campaign to $150 Million

Dilshanie Perera

The fundraising campaign for the new hospital being built in Plainsboro was recently expanded by Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) from $115 million to $150 million in private donations. The deadline for meeting the new goal is March 2013, a year after the hospital is slated to open.

PHCS Vice President for Development Joseph Stampe noted that $119.5 million have been raised as of this Monday, and that the initial goal was superseded at the end of 2010.

The additional $35 million to be raised will go toward the expansion of amenities and technologies offered by the new hospital, which includes doubling the number of beds in the pediatric unit from six to 12 and expanding newborn services; providing specialized treatment areas in the emergency department; increasing the number of inpatient beds for the elderly; enlarging the Cancer Center, which could lead to a potential future partnership with a specialist in the field; completing two hybrid operating rooms for complex vascular surgery and neurosurgery, respectively; and implementing and adopting emergent technologies.

In 2005, an independent consulting firm suggested that an appropriate goal for the hospital fundraising project would be $52 million, according to Mr. Stampe. But after a $25 million gift from David and Patricia Atkinson in 2007, and a total of $77 million by the summer of 2008 when the fundraising campaign went public, the new goal was set at $115 million.

“We were still thinking it was a stretch for a small foundation, which was raising $3 million per year prior to 2005,” Mr. Stampe noted.

An outpouring of support from over 6,000 donors has led PHCS to further expand the scope of “Design for Healing,” its fundraising campaign for the new hospital, and to reimagine partnerships and technologies that will be featured in the new building.

With most donors hailing from the region, Mr. Stampe said that many have either used the hospital themselves or have had family members who have been patients there. Over 40 percent of campaign contributors are new donors giving to the hospital for the first time.

Individuals, businesses, and foundations have been participants in the campaign and the fundraisers hope to continue to “reach out to people who have used and will use our services,” Mr. Stampe acknowledged.

The expansion enabled by the additional funds will address increased demand. For example, Mr. Stampe pointed out that the hospital’s partnership with the Children’s Hosptial of Philadelphia (CHOP) has garnered attention due to improved services for pediatric patients. This in turn supported the decision to double the number of beds in the new hospital’s pediatric unit.

The $150 million will supplement the $355 million in financing that has been organized by the PHCS for its new hospital project, the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, which will be the centerpiece of a 171-acre healthcare campus between Route 1 and Scudder’s Mill Road. The hospital will be located 2.5 miles away from its current location on Witherspoon Street, and will open in early 2012.

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