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The Surgery Center at Howard County General Hospital will be named after Sanford and Kay Berman following the couple's $5 million donation to the hospital.
The Surgery Center at Howard County General Hospital will be named after Sanford and Kay Berman following the couple's $5 million donation to the hospital. (Provided by Howard Hospital Foundation)

A husband and wife, both of whom are doctors, have donated $5 million to Howard County General Hospital -- the largest private donation in the history of the hospital and the county, the hospital's foundation announced Thursday.

Dr. Sanford Berman and Dr. Kay Ota-Berman, longtime county residents, made the donation to the hospital, a member of Johns Hopkins medicine, through the Howard Hospital Foundation. The money will be donated in increments over $1 million per year for five years beginning in 2015. The funds will go toward patient care and be used at the discretion of the hospital.

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Sanford said the couple, both in their 80s, decided to make the donation because, "you can't take it with you."

"We suspect that most of our life is behind us, and we have little, if any, need for material things. Why not give it to the hospital?" Sanford said in the release.

Sanford added: "Kay and I wanted to leave a legacy in the community. We don't have much family, and we have both been patients here and were treated so well."

He said his wife's most recent stay at the hospital was "the best treatment anyone could receive." He likened it to a stay at a five-star hotel.

It's not the first time the Bermans have made a generous donation to the hospital. The couple donated $1 million to the hospital in 2012 to support its campus development plan.

"After we dontated the $1 million, it felt good. I felt such satisfaction," Sanford said. "Making an additional $5 million donation felt right, and I knew would make a difference for others in the community.

In recognition of the donations, the hospital will rename the Health Care and Surgery Center Building The Dr. Sanford A. Berman and Dr. Kay Ota-Berman Pavilion.

Hospital President Steven Snelgrove said the Bermans "exemplify the spirit of generosity that makes Howard County such an incredible community."

He added: "This gift comes at a time when health care finances are changing, and we will use it wisely to support the strategic priorities of our hospital."

Sandy Harriman, the vice president of development for the hospital, said the Bermans' support is "exemplary" and that the hospital is "forever grateful for this most generous gift."

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