Former Mayo fundraising chair donates $1 million towards construction of new La Crosse hospital
Mayo Clinic Health System has received a $1 million donation toward the construction and development of its new La Crosse hospital, bestowed on the organization by a former fundraising chair.
J. Willard “Bill” Marriott Jr., leader of Marriott International for the past six decades, and wife Donna Marriott, who has held roles in the corporate and community sectors of the hospitality company, made the financial commitment in recognition of the care they received from their longtime physician, Mayo’s regional vice president of Southwest Wisconsin, Dr. Paul Mueller.
“My wife and I have greatly appreciated the excellent health care provided by Dr. Mueller and are continuously impressed by the medical excellence across Mayo Clinic,” said Bill. “With this gift, we hope to inspire others in the La Crosse area to support this important project.”
Bill was an emeritus public trustee of Mayo from 1986-1998 and chaired the hospital system’s inaugural fundraising campaign through its conclusion in 2009. The Marriott family have been patients of Mayo for 60 years.
“I have a tremendous sense of gratitude for the Marriotts, who I’ve known for a long time, and their ongoing and steadfast support of Mayo Clinic and their interest in this project in La Crosse,” said Mueller. “(They) lead a terrific corporation with a real focus on service and quality, so I’ve learned a lot from them over the years and how they approach taking care of their customers and what we might learn from that in the health care industry”
Their donation will be used to help offset the cost of the 290,000 square feet, $198 million facility, set to open in 2024. A recognition site in the facility will reflect the donation.
“The Marriotts are sweet, genuine, humble and just really want to serve humanity,” said Mueller. “This is one of quite a few gifts that they’ve given to Mayo Clinic. They have lots of options and choices of how they may choose to steward their money and their resources, and they chose La Crosse, which is really a testament to our teams and what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
Mayo has received additional seven figure gifts toward the new hospital, including $1 million from The Harry L. Crisp II & Rosemary Berkel Crisp last year and large checks from anonymous donors. The exterior/base structure of the new six floor, 70 bed facility is in progress and should be finished this summer, followed by walls and interior work.
“We are still on time and on budget,” said Mueller. “(The community) should see a lot of visible progress this summer. Our teams are really excited about moving to the new facility and the efficiencies that that’s going to generate and the improvements that will result in safer care and higher quality care, more integrated with our enterprise.”
The new hospital will also feature endoscopy suites, a new Family Birth Center, interventional radiology and more, and it is being constructed to reduce the carbon footprint of the facility.