Grateful family leaves more than $10 million to support OHSU

09/10/12  Portland, Ore.

The estate of Garthe and Grace Brown designated more than $10 million to benefit OHSU’s groundbreaking heart research. The Garthe Brown and Grace L. Brown Fund II was established through the Oregon Community Foundation and will support OHSU’s cardiac research in perpetuity. The Brown’s long-standing philanthropic support of OHSU was first inspired by the exceptional care their son received at OHSU.

“The Browns’ generous investment will ensure that OHSU’s innovative cardiac research will benefit patients for many generations to come,” said Constance French, interim president of the OHSU Foundation. “Grateful patients and their families account for a significant percentage of estate gifts made to OHSU — even when the experience took place years or decades prior to the gift.”

OHSU’s heart research is led by pioneers in the field, physician-scientists dedicated to translating what’s learned in the laboratory into treatments that can immediately benefit patients. More than 5 million cardiac patients around the world have undergone an extraordinary, non-invasive diagnostic procedure pioneered by Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., head of OHSU’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Microbubble-based myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) detects heart attacks that other methods miss, and sends patients home who don’t need hospital care. This revolutionary technology saves lives every day.

Albert Starr, M.D., a distinguished professor in OHSU’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, invented the first artificial heart valve, which transformed survival rates for people with heart disease. OHSU researchers are also making important strides in understanding the genetic underpinnings of cardiac disease, developing new drugs that protect against stroke, and repairing heart defects in babies still in the womb.

“We still have so much more to learn about preventing and treating heart disease — it kills more Americans every year than all forms of cancer combined. With dedicated philanthropic partners like the Brown family, OHSU can continue to innovate — and bring heart disease under control,” said Kaul.

While the new fund will support cardiac research at OHSU, an earlier gift from the Brown’s estate established the Garthe and Grace L. Brown Lecture in Heart Disorders. The lecture series will debut this spring, bringing in experts from all over the world to share the latest advances in preventing heart failure.

Both gifts will be realized through perpetual endowments made by the Browns through the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF). OCF serves Oregon donors as a trusted charitable partner, and has connected hundreds of donors over the years with OHSU causes that match their personal giving interests.

About the OHSU foundation

The OHSU Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises private philanthropic support and manages donated funds on behalf of OHSU. The foundation's board of trustees is composed of distinguished civic leaders and members of Oregon's business communities. Trustees are responsible for formulating long-range goals, policies and operating procedures for the foundation. Trustees may serve a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms before a mandatory one-year hiatus.

The OHSU Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that exists to secure private philanthropic support to advance Oregon Health & Science University's vital missions, and to invest and manage gifts responsibly to honor donors' wishes. The foundation raises funds from individuals, companies, foundations and organizations, and invests and manages gifts in accordance with donors' wishes.