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Hopkins Hospital gets $20 million donation

THE BALTIMORE SUN

An article in Friday's editions of The Sun misstated the amount of money appropriated by the state toward a new comprehensive cancer center at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Maryland General Assembly has authorized $30.5 million for the center.

The Sun regrets the error.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has received the single largest gift since its inception 106 years ago -- the pledge of $20 million from the Baltimore-based Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation toward the construction of a clinical building for its comprehensive cancer center.

"I can't tell you how pleased and how honored we are that the Weinberg Foundation has recognized the importance of this project and has placed its . . . trust in the Johns Hopkins institutions," Dr. James A. Block, president of the hospital, said at a news conference yesterday.

A Hopkins spokeswoman said yesterday that the hospital also had received a $10 million pledge for the center earlier this year, but that the gift had not been announced because the donor family had insisted upon anonymity. The hospital released no further details about the earlier gift toward the center's total $97 million price tag.

The hospital requires an additional $17 million to cover the center's estimated cost, said Robert L. Lindgren, Johns Hopkins University's vice president for development and alumni relations. Hopkins intends to pay for the center entirely with government and donor funds.

Last year, the General Assembly approved a $40 million subsidy for construction of the center, which includes a second, smaller building for cancer research. Maryland has one of the highest cancer rates of any state in the nation. Designs for the two buildings were announced previously.

The Weinberg Building of Hopkins' cancer center will unite doctors, nurses and other staff from departments throughout the hospital under one roof to provide comprehensive treatment of cancer.

"The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg cancer center building will be a place of hope and healing for patients," Dr. Martin D. Abeloff, director of the center, said yesterday.

The seven-story, 515,000-square-foot building, on a 2.3-acre site Broadway and Orleans Street, will cover the largest area of any structure on the East Baltimore medical campus.

Developer Harry Weinberg emerged from his impoverishment as immigrant to become a billionaire through his real estate dealings and left almost every penny of his fortune to his family's foundation after his death in November 1990. The Baltimore-based philanthropy, which seems to avoid publicity, is formally dedicated to aiding agencies aimed at helping the poor.

"What better way to do this than to make a donation to the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which serves many poor people?" foundation trustee Shale D. Stiller said at the news conference. "If Harry Weinberg could be here today, there wouldn't be a happier man in the world."

Mr. Stiller also said the foundation's trustees specifically intended the gift to bolster Hopkins at a time when major research hospitals find revenues tougher to attract -- because of dips in government funding and health maintenance organizations eager to cut costs.

"This gift is a symbol and an encouragement to other private donors to aid these great private institutions which are suffering from this dual onslaught," Mr. Stiller said.

Dr. Block said the pledge gives the hospital added momentum, helping to secure a promising future for Hopkins. Medical faculty members such as Dr. Bert Vogelstein, who identified a gene that causes colon cancer, have made Hopkins known throughout the world for its research. And the hospital's care-giving has netted it top rankings in evaluations from U.S. News & World Report.

Hospital officials privately stressed that the gift is not directed to the university. The Weinberg Foundation's charter specifies that donations may be given to colleges or universities, although Mr. Weinberg personally approved at least one gift to a university.

The money represents one of the largest gifts received toward the Johns Hopkins Initiative, a $900 million fund-raising drive announced a year ago to benefit both the hospital and the university. Although they are technically separate not-for-profit corporations, the two Hopkins institutions are intertwined.

Including the Weinberg pledge, the Hopkins initiative has secured about $400 million in gifts and promises toward the campaign, scheduled to end in the year 2000.

LARGEST GIFTS, GRANTS

Largest gifts to Johns Hopkins Hospital

$20 million .. .. Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation .. .. 1995

$17.7 million ... Estate of Glenn Stewart .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1981

$10 million .. .. Anonymous family gift for cancer center . .. 1995

$8 million ... .. Estate of Kate Macy Ladd . .. .. .. .. .. .. 1984

$5.1 million . .. Estate of Carlos E. Twichell ... .. .. .. .. 1994

$3.8 million . .. Estate of Johns Hopkins .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1874

Largest grants from Weinberg Foundation

$20 million .. .. Johns Hopkins Hospital ... .. .. .. .. .. .. 1995

$15 million .. .. Sinai Hospital .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1994

$10 million .. .. United Jewish Appeal .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1993

$5 million ... .. University of Scranton ... .. .. .. .. .. .. 1989

$3.5 million . Metro. Jewish Geriatric Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 1992

$3.5 million . .. Temple Emanu-El (Honolulu) .. .. .. .. .. .. 1989

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