Princeton HealthCare System Completes Record-Breaking Capital Campaign

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$171.3 million helps new hospital achieve enhanced patient care.

“The success of this new site is an incredible accomplishment for the entire central NJ community."

On the first anniversary of the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, Princeton HealthCare System President and CEO Barry S. Rabner announced the completion of the seven-year Design for Healing capital campaign and paid tribute to the generous donors who made it an unprecedented success — raising $171.3 million.

“We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of passion and commitment demonstrated by so many members of the central New Jersey community,” stated Rabner. “This hospital was built by an amazing regional effort with more than 10,000 individuals, corporations and foundations contributing.”

The total dollars raised represents the largest capital campaign ever by a New Jersey hospital and is believed to be the most ever raised by a U.S. hospital of 300 beds or less. Donations passed both the original 2008 goal of $115 million, and the subsequent $150 million goal announced in 2010.

“Despite the financial crisis, donors were inspired to invest in the best care and the latest technology close to home,” said Robert C. Doll, CFA, co-chair of the capital campaign, a CNBC commentator and Chief Equity Strategist and Senior Portfolio Manager at Nuveen Asset Management, LLC. The hospital is located halfway between Philadelphia and New York City.

Philanthropy Expanded Hospital Services

“Additional funds helped us realize parts of the campus that had been planned for later development,” noted campaign co-chair JoAnn Heffernan Heisen, former Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer and a member of the Executive Committee at Johnson & Johnson.

“For example, one family’s gift doubled the size of the pediatrics unit,” she said, “which is staffed by physicians from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.” According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2012-13 survey of Best Children’s Hospitals, the Philadelphia hospital tied for the No. 1 overall ranking.

Joseph E. Stampe, Vice President of Development for the Princeton HealthCare System Foundation added, “Significant contributions from local families and foundations also doubled the size of the Emergency Department to create specialized sections for older patients, children and behavioral health.”

Stampe pointed out that donations provided major enhancements to the Chapel, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Community Health Center and the comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center, and supported the installation of the exterior Welcome Garden and internal Healing Garden.

Support Came from Diverse Sources

In May 2012, the new 231-bed hospital opened on Route 1 in Plainsboro, three miles east of its old site in Princeton. Stampe noted that the Design for Healing campaign drew diverse support, including a growing list of donors from towns east of Route 1, such as East and West Windsor, Plainsboro, Cranbury and Hamilton. Many gifts of $100, $500, $1,000 or more were also from first-time donors, showing grassroots support for the new campus from Montgomery to Monroe.

Highlights of campaign giving:

  •     417 physicians and their practices donated over $5.6 million to the campaign
  •     983 corporations and foundations donated in excess of $34 million
  •     97 individuals/families donated more than $100,000
  •     38 percent of PHCS employees donated to the hospital building campaign

“Raising almost 50 percent more than our original $115 million goal significantly reduced our debt for the construction,” added Stampe. “While we still have significant needs to maintain this leading regional facility, the Design for Healing campaign has put us on firm footing to keep up with the advancements yet to come.” The $523 million cost of the new hospital was largely funded through the pending sale of the hospital’s former site and related financing.

Nearly 100-Year Tradition

The hospital has a deep tradition of local support. The original building and the site at 253 Witherspoon Street was a gift in 1919 from Princeton philanthropist Moses Taylor Pyne. In moving to the new campus, the hospital leadership sought ways to honor the philanthropy that had made its nearly 100-year history a success.

When the old facility closed, the Foundation collected the donor plaques adorning the walls and listed all of the names on the Design for Healing history wall in the new hospital. They also contacted all donors or donor families when possible to ask if they would like the plaques returned. Some donors chose to receive the plaques as a special keepsake. All other plaques will be incorporated into a commissioned sculpture to be located at the new hospital.

Rabner expressed heartfelt appreciation to the hospital staff, 38 percent of whom donated to the building campaign, exceeding the national average for similar campaigns at health facilities. He noted that the staff was very involved in planning the new campus and proud to participate in a national project of the Center for Health Design, which promotes research on how the physical spaces of a hospital can measurably improve clinical outcomes, environmental performance and operational efficiency.

Designed to Speed Recovery

The six-story south-facing building with its glass front provides natural light and 100 percent fresh air in all patient rooms. Using evidence-based research, architects designed single-patient rooms in the shape of a parallelogram with features to reduce falls and infection, increase staff and patient interaction, and include family members.

By canting each room on an angle like a diamond on a playing card, the patient has better views of the window and a large video screen. Nurses have a wall-mounted computer that enables them to face the patient while adding to his or her electronic medical record, and there is even room for a couch that opens into a comfortable bed for family members.

Objectives Achieved

High rankings from independent evaluators testify to the success of the staff’s attention to details.

In March the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro was named to this year's 100 Great Hospitals list, which is published annually by Becker's Hospital Review. The 2013 list includes some of the nation's most well respected hospitals such as The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD; Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN; Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA; and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, both in Philadelphia.

In May, University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP) was rated a Top Hospital for patient safety and quality of care by The Leapfrog Group, whose Hospital Safety Score is based on a hospital's overall capacity to prevent infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors.

Patient satisfaction scores are at their highest levels in the hospital’s history, ranking in the 99th percentile in New Jersey.

Added Rabner: “The success of this new site is an incredible accomplishment for the entire central NJ community. We could not be more proud – and grateful.”

Major donors to the Princeton HealthCare System Foundation Design for Healing Campaign, each contributing $1 million or more to the project:

Anonymous (7)
Mr. and Mrs. David R. Atkinson
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander K. Buck
Mr. James R. Craigie
Stephen and Roxanne Distler
Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Doll
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Gund
JoAnn Heffernan Heisen
Mr. and Mrs. Duncan L. MacMillan
Mr. Edward E. and Mrs. Marie Matthews
Nora C. and James M. Orphanides
Mr. Leonard P. Punia and Family
Jay and Amy Regan
Mr. George H. and Mrs. Estelle M. Sands
Judith and Bill Scheide
Mr. and Mrs. William A. Schreyer
Mrs. Olga R. Shen
Mr. and Mrs. Arnold H. Snider
Mr. and Mrs. John L. Steffens

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc.
The Charles Evans Foundation
Church & Dwight Company, Inc.
Novo Nordisk, Inc.
Princeton Radiology Associates, PA
Princeton University*
Public Service Electric & Gas Co.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Starr Foundation

  • The hospital has no affiliation with Princeton University.

Princeton HealthCare System Foundation was established in 1978 to support the advancement of University Medical Center at Princeton. Charitable gifts are applied to the most pressing needs for clinical equipment and new clinical facilities at University Medical Center at Princeton and the other operating units of Princeton HealthCare System.

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Ted Deutsch