ENCINITAS — Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas has received the largest philanthropic gift in its 45-year history with the donation of $10 million from the Leichtag Family Foundation in honor of Lee and Toni Leichtag.
“There is no greater gift than to save a life, and through the generosity of Lee and Toni Leichtag and the Leichtag Family Foundation, they will help us save more lives every day,” said Scripps President and chief executive officer Chris Van Gorder. “The Leichtags were visionaries, following in the footsteps of our founder Ellen Browning Scripps in their desire to help others. This historic gift to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas provides a legacy of caring that will benefit our patients and our community for years to come. We are very grateful for their commitment to the Encinitas community and the health care we provide at Scripps.”
The Leichtag Family Foundation’s $10 million gift to The Campaign for Scripps Encinitas supports construction of a new two-story, 60,000-square-foot critical care building with a new 27-station emergency department, twice the number on today’s unit. It will double the capacity of the emergency department and allow for new, state-of-the-art technology and services. This project is part of the nonprofit hospital’s most extensive expansion effort in several decades, which also includes the addition of an acute care building, parking structure and medical office building. Construction on the parking structure will begin in spring 2010.
“There has always been a special bond between the Leichtag family and Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas,” says Jim Farley, president and chief executive officer of the Leichtag Family Foundation. “Our hope is that this leadership gift will inspire others throughout North County to generously support their community hospital. It was Lee and Toni’s vision to see the hospital that had cared for them through the years continue to grow to serve North County residents for many years to come.”
Prior to this gift, the Leichtags donated more than $7 million to Scripps Encinitas. Toni Leichtag, who passed away last month, and Lee Leichtag, who passed away in November 2007, made their first donation to the hospital in 1979. Since then, the family has made gifts to the emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit and the Leichtag Women’s Health and Birth Pavilion, which was dedicated in their honor in 1993. Toni was a founding member of Circle of Life 100, a women’s service organization that supports the hospital, and she also served on the Scripps Encinitas Community Advisory Board for more than two decades.
For more information on ways to support The Campaign for Scripps Encinitas, call (760) 633-7722 or visit www.campaignforscrippsencinitas.org.