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Correll Renay

Grady Hospital gets $50 million Woodruff gift to fund expansion

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 1, 2017

Thanks to a new $50 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff FoundationGrady Health System is within $10 million of reaching its $165 million goal to fund two capital projects that will enable the hospital to become more financially sustainable.

The $50 million is in addition to the $200 million the Woodruff Foundation gave 10 years ago when the public safety net hospital was in dire financial straits. That $200 million was the catalyst in a $325 million private fundraising effort that saved the hospital from going under.

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Past reflections by Kelly Jordan

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It’s apparently a small world after all

Grady Hospital first opened its doors in 1892 with 14 rooms and the mission to offer the best hospital care possible regardless of a person’s social status. Since opening its doors, thousands of people from all walks of life have turned to Grady to receive care and comfort in their hour of need. Over the years, the hospital has gained an excellent international reputation as a public hospital and it has grown to become the largest hospital in the State of Georgia, public or private.

Billi and Bernie Marcus

Commentary: Marcus Trauma Center ‘Destiny’ for Philanthropist

Original Story on WABE by Maria Saporta

Billi and Bernie Marcus

Billi and Bernie Marcus in front of the plaque in their honor (By Renay Blumenthal of the Grady Health Foundation)

Grady Hospital dedicated the Marcus Trauma and Emergency Center on Oct. 5 in recognition of philanthropy of Billi and Bernie Marcus, a co-founder of the Home Depot.

In all, the Marcus couple have given a total of $50 million to Grady, which also went to the establishment of the Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center.

The biggest disappointment in Bernie Marcus’ life was when he was accepted to Harvard’s medical school, because his family could not afford the $10,000 tuition.

And he wasn’t eligible for a scholarship because Harvard had already met its 10 percent quota of Jewish students.

Marcus had to set aside his dream of becoming a doctor and settled on becoming a pharmacist.

“I could have been somebody,” Marcus joked with me at the Grady dedication ceremony.

Marcus did become somebody. After being fired from Handy Dan, a home center retailer, Marcus and his colleague, Arthur Blank, decided to launch their own chain of home improvement mega stores.

The chain, Home Depot, was founded in Atlanta in 1978 and the two became billionaires.

But Marcus never forgot his first dream – of saving lives.

He and his wife have donated generously to Marcus Autism Center, Piedmont Hospital, the Shepherd Center and to Grady Hospital.

Marcus described his missed opportunity to become a doctor as “bashert,” which is Yiddish for “destiny.”

His contributions to Grady and the dedication of the Marcus Trauma and Emergency Center has helped fulfill his destiny.

Bernie Marcus was destined to save people’s lives.