MELROSE PARK, Ill. - Jack Weinberg, chairman of the Gottlieb Memorial Foundation, has announced a foundation gift of $6.5 million for Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, part of the Loyola University Health System. The gift, announced at the hospital's 49th annual Emerald Ball fundraiser last Saturday, will be used to upgrade hospital facilities and bring the latest technology to the hospital's cancer center, which bears the name of Weinberg's mother, the late Marjorie Gottlieb Weinberg. Some $5.3 million will be used for new exam and infusion rooms, and a permanent PET/CT scanner will be added to the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center on the Melrose Park campus. The remaining $1.2 million will be used to build a second-floor waiting area. The expansion reflects the hospital's commitment to patient-centered care, focusing on the comfort of patients and their loved ones. "Gottlieb Memorial Hospital plays a critical role in the western suburbs. As part of the Loyola University Health System, the Weinberg Cancer Center offers academic-level specialists and the latest clinical trials to the families in the greater Melrose Park/Oak Park and River Forest area. This generous foundation gift takes us a step further, bringing next-generation upgrades to a facility that will be a source of healing and hope for patients who rely on us for care today, as well as for future generations," said Paul K. Whelton, MB, MD, MSc, president and CEO, Loyola University Health System. Construction at the center is planned to begin right away, with completion scheduled for early summer next year. In announcing the gift, Weinberg reminded gala attendees of his family's half-century of dedication to the Melrose Park hospital.
"Let this donation kick off the start of a yearlong 50th anniversary celebration of Gottlieb Memorial Hospital," said Weinberg, who is a grandson of the hospital's founder, David Gottlieb, a successful Chicago businessman. "My family, together with many leaders in the community, established Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in 1961 out of a sense of civic pride, concern for the well-being of others, and a dedication to giving back, and we in the foundation intend to actively continue that important mission." The $1.2 million construction of a second-floor surgical waiting room, also funded by the foundation gift, will bring an additional large, family-friendly waiting room to the area over the existing driveway canopy. This addition will bring new, comfortable space that will accommodate hundreds of family members each week. The building's exterior will also be enhanced. "We are grateful for the partnership and the support of our dedicated foundation members, who have invested in our patients and in our employees," said Trisha Cassidy, Gottlieb president and senior vice president of strategy, Loyola University Health System. "Gottlieb will stand strong for another 50 years and we will joyously celebrate its centennial, thanks to the counsel and guidance of Mr. Weinberg and his associates," she said. Last year, the foundation announced a $4 million gift at the event. That donation was used to create 21 additional new private patient rooms in the hospital's sixth-floor cardiac unit. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital affiliated with the Loyola University Health System in 2008. The Gottlieb Memorial Foundation was created at the time of the Loyola affiliation and funded with $75 million to support future health initiatives at Gottlieb. In addition to his role as foundation chairman, Weinberg is a member of the LUHS board of directors. In May, Weinberg was presented with the President's Medal for Distinguished Service by Loyola's president and CEO. The medal recognizes Weinberg's exemplary philanthropic support, advocacy, community outreach and volunteerism. A second gift to the hospital, $75,000 to fund a renovation of the mammography area, was announced at the fundraiser by Dorry La Spisa, acting as president of the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. Since its founding in 1961, the Gottlieb Memorial Hospital Auxiliary has raised more than $5 million for the hospital and its programs. Together with the medical staff, the auxiliary also has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships to area high school and college students and has directed all proceeds from the hospital gift shop to hospital programs.