John and Doris Norton have donated $19 million to create a thoracic institute in their name at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
The new John and Doris Norton Thoracic Institute will stretch across several buildings on the nonprofit hospital’s campus.
It is the largest single donation ever given to St. Joseph’s, but it’s not the first from the Nortons.
In 2006 the couple gave the hospital $1 million for its Healing Garden, followed by $4 million in 2011 for the Doris Norton Scholars Program, providing scholarships for third- and fourth-year students in the Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph’s. A year later, they gave the hospital $1.23 million to renovate a building on the St. Joseph’s Creighton campus for administrative offices and a student lounge and gym.
John Norton was born at St. Joseph’s hospital 85 years ago, as were the couple’s three children and two grandchildren.
Son Michael Norton said his father received life-saving care when he was seven years old.
“He has been indebted to the hospital ever since,” he said.
Michael Norton said his great grandfather helped pioneer the Salt River Project in the late 1800s.
“My dad’s father started farming and ranching here in the early 20th century,” he said.
In 1955, John Norton founded J.R. Norton Co., a diversified agricultural company that produced lettuce and other crops as well as ran cattle feeding and ranching operations. By 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed John Norton as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Michael Norton said the thoracic institute will expand upon the hospital’s lung and esophageal programs, as well as add to medical education in cardiovascular services at St. Joseph’s.
“When fully developed, we hope to offer new, innovative patient care and medical research for thoracic and esophageal medicine,” he said.
Dr. Ross Bremner, director of the institute, said the Norton family donation will help the institute become a national leader in cardiothoracic disease.
Part of the donation also will be used to establish a telemedicine program that will allow patients from around the western U.S. to obtain cutting-edge care for esophageal, lung and heart diseases, he said.
Angela Gonzales covers health, biotech and education.
Story republished with permission. All Rights Reserved by American City Business Journals