Historic Gift Makes Major Impact for Cardiology Care

Historic Gift Provides Critical Access for Cape Ann Families

Addison Gilbert Hospital’s largest philanthropic gift of the last two centuries arrived in a simple white envelope, hand delivered by a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The gift—more than $1.3M—will support expanding critically needed cardiology services for Cape Ann families. 

The generous donor, a seasonal resident of Rockport for more than 30 years, was motivated to make the gift in gratitude for the care her late husband repeatedly received at Addison Gilbert’s Emergency Department over the last years of his life. Her magnanimous gesture was a gift from the heart.

The joy of giving

Early last fall, the donor met with hospital leaders to determine Addison Gilbert’s greatest needs. Upon hearing that access to vital cardiology services was a growing challenge for the community, the donor did not hesitate to direct her efforts there. She learned about the aging population and high rates of chronic heart conditions in Essex County and realized this was where her gift would provide the greatest good. Leaders outlined the clinical enhancements that would be needed. The donor, who loves to see projects through from start to finish, enthusiastically concluded, “Let’s make this happen!”

Addison Gilbert Vice President Cindy Donaldson was thrilled. “This gift is so inspiring,” she said. “It recognizes the exceptional care that our community hospital is known for and further expands our services. What a wonderful legacy!” 

To the donor, the act of giving was deeply rewarding; she gave back in gratitude while also paying it forward for all the families of Cape Ann who rely on Addison Gilbert. “I love that little hospital!” she stated.

Cardiology Suite to more than double in size

Under the leadership of longtime, beloved Cape Ann cardiologist Dr. Michael Arsenian, and with the generous philanthropic investment from many Cape Ann benefactors, Addison Gilbert opened a beautiful, modern Cardiology Suite in 2015. The suite united wide-ranging cardiology services all under one roof, conveniently bringing expert clinical care and needed testing to underserved populations on Cape Ann.

This transformational gift will enable the Cardiology Suite to more than double its existing footprint. The project will allow Dr. Arsenian and his colleague Dr. Edward Loughery to provide expanded diagnostic testing and important services to patients locally. The efficient design includes three new exam rooms; new physician offices; a nuclear camera room and “hot lab” with lead-lined walls for storing the radioactive imaging agents; a stress room to elevate a patient’s heart rate and an echocardiogram testing room. 

The expanded suite will allow patients to be seen and undergo diagnostic testing earlier and more easily. “Thanks to this generous gift, we will be able to efficiently assess more patients and identify those who would benefit from immediate interventions,” said Dr. Loughery. “Moreover, the impressive new suite—with expanded space and state-of-the-art equipment— will enable us to recruit additional dynamic and expertly trained providers. We could not have developed this next level of care without the support of philanthropy.”  

Whether for urgent or chronic needs, patients deserve the best possible care close to home. “Families on Cape Ann are very loyal to their community and to their community hospital,” said Dr. Loughery. “As stewards of local cardiology care, we must strategically build for the future, assuring patients have access to the quality care they need and deserve.” Addison Gilbert is proud to have been repeatedly recognized for its high standards of care by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. 

Vision to make life a little better for friends and neighbors

The donor, who in addition to being a professional artist is well versed in history and literature, enclosed an inspirational quote along with her gift in that plain white envelope. She shared the words of famous educator Horace Mann: “I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words, be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” Because the donor challenged herself to embrace these words, the Cape Ann community will benefit for years to come. She realized her vision to make life a little better for her friends and neighbors, who also rely on that little hospital she came to love.