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Published: Tuesday, 6/26/2007

UM heart center gets pledge of $50 million


ANN ARBOR - An anonymous donor has pledged $50 million to the University of Michigan Health System's new cardiovascular center - the second-largest single gift to the university.

The gift was pledged after the five-story, 350,000-square-foot inpatient and outpatient facility on the Ann Arbor campus opened to patients June 11.

Beginning this month, the center will receive $25 million during the next 10 years. The gift calls for the donor to review the center's performance before releasing the final $25 million.

"We're thrilled to receive this landmark gift, which not only recognizes the efforts our cardiovascular center team has already made to break down the barriers that can divide health specialties, but gives us strong incentive to continue those efforts," Dr. Robert Kelch, the health system's chief executive, said in a statement.

The center is designed to prevent, treat, and study heart disease, blood vessel disorders, and stroke. It provides a single home for much of the clinical care for adult patients and includes eight operating rooms, 11 suites for minimally invasive procedures, and 48 inpatient beds.

The donor will look at scores of patient, referring physician, and center staff satisfaction surveys, the university said. The center also will be measured on the number of faculty with academic appointments in more than one division, research grants won, and quality of young doctors being trained in cardiovascular specialties.

Another condition is that the center continue to be led by a team.

The $50 million donation and a 2004 gift of $44 million for diabetes research and facilities are part of the university's $2.5 billion Michigan Difference Campaign.

The largest single gift to the university came from New York real estate magnate Stephen Ross. He gave $100 million in 2004 to have his name on the business school.

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