$50M donation to Baptist Health in Miami to advance Parkinson’s care

Gift to support new and 'innovative' neuroscience institute in South Florida

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by Patricia Inácio, PhD |

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A $50 million donation to the Baptist Health Foundation is set to expand care for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases across South Florida and to advance research into these disorders.

The donation from Kenneth C. Griffin, founder and CEO of the Miami-based hedge fund Citadel, is the single largest philanthropic gift in the history of the nearly 65-year-old organization. Griffin also founded Griffin Catalyst, a civic engagement initiative focused on expanding opportunities and improving lives.

“This extraordinary gift is a visionary contribution to the well-being of current and future generations in South Florida and beyond,” Bo Boulenger, president and CEO of Baptist Health, said in a foundation press release. “We are enormously grateful to Mr. Griffin for this generous donation, which will further strengthen our position as one of the nation’s leading centers for neuroscience.”

Baptist Health will use the money to expand its Miami Neuroscience Institute, building a new, fully equipped center to house the institute and offering comprehensive care for patients at Baptist Hospital’s Miami campus.

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To be called the Kenneth C. Griffin Center at the Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute, it also will be dedicated to advancing research into various neurodegenerative disorders, ranging from Parkinson’s and  Alzheimer’s disease to dementia and epilepsy.

This “visionary” facility will address Baptist Health’s “critical need for expanded space, innovative technology and collaborative research” between scientists and doctors, the foundation stated.

“Mr. Griffin’s support will propel Baptist Health into a new era of clinical and research excellence, enabling us to push the boundaries of neuroscience research and deliver cutting-edge treatments,” said Michael W. McDermott, MD, Miami Neuroscience Institute’s chief medical executive.

“Mr. Griffin’s extraordinary philanthropic commitment marks a pivotal moment in our mission to advance brain science. Together, we are forging a legacy of innovation and compassion that will improve outcomes and change lives,” said Alex Villoch, CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation.

The Miami Neuroscience Institute is among the top-ranked neurology and neurosurgery centers in the U.S., with a multidisciplinary and specialized staff of physicians and patient care experts, the foundation noted.

“Baptist Health’s incredible team of dedicated doctors and researchers at Miami Neuroscience Institute bring hope and healing to individuals and families, both in our community and from around the world,” Griffin said. “I am proud to support Baptist’s work that is elevating Miami as a destination for world-class medical care.”

Other recipients of Griffin’s philanthropy include Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.