FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- (September 14, 2016) Phil Smith, president and CEO of the Phil Smith Automotive Group, has donated $7 million to fund state-of-the-art neurological care at Holy Cross Hospital. A longtime supporter of the hospital, Smith has designated these funds to name the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute and to establish the Phil Smith ALS and Movement Disorder Clinic. He is earmarking $2 million of the gift as matching funds in a community challenge to bring first class research and treatments to South Florida.
Once established, the Phil Smith ALS and Movement Disorders Clinic will provide the local community with access to leading edge clinical trials and research through an expanded relationship with Massachusetts General Hospital, the largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
The clinic will be permanently housed in what will now be known as the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute at Holy Cross. The institute currently includes more than 15 neuro physician specialists and provides a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to neurological conditions and diseases that affect thousands of individuals such as ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
“High level specialized neurological care is only available in a few areas of the country,” said Smith, pictured above, right with Dr Taylor. “I’ve learned from my own experience the importance of having access to this specialized care. Fortunately, through the medical connections and care coordination Holy Cross provided, I was able to leave to seek the best care in the country though it meant traveling outside of South Florida. Unfortunately, most people in our community do not have the resources to do that. My vision with this matching contribution program is to establish a neurological center having the same level of cutting edge care for our own community so our residents can access this care without traveling elsewhere.”
Smith’s involvement with Holy Cross is shaped through personal experience. Inspired by his personal admiration of and gratitude to the late automotive pioneer Jim Moran, Smith played an instrumental role in galvanizing community support to meet the $26 million Moran Challenge that assisted in the development of the Jim Moran Heart and Vascular Research Institute at Holy Cross. Smith is now calling on all those in South Florida, who are fortunate to have the resources, to help him make his vision a reality by supporting his challenge in which he will match donations dollar for dollar up to $2 million.
“We are so incredibly fortunate to have leaders like Phil who have the generosity, compassion and vision to support the ongoing healthcare needs in our community,” said Dr. Patrick Taylor, president and CEO of Holy Cross Hospital. “One of the goals of enhancing services within our Neuroscience Institute is to continue to expand services to care for patients with ALS. Currently there is no specialized care for ALS patients in Broward and Palm Beach counties and only three Certified ALS Centers of Excellence in Florida. The needs are great and the resources are few. With Phil’s help, we will change that.”
For decades, Smith has generously supported Holy Cross Hospital, often behind the scenes, such as his eight-year support of the Holy Cross Hospital Golf Tournament, which has annually included four cars offered as hole-in-one prizes and the use of the Coral Ridge Country Club, which he owns and that has hosted the tournaments’ beautiful lunches and magnificent dinners.
The country’s growing aging population has led to a rise in incidents of stroke, dementia, neuropathy, spine and brain tumors and neuro-musculoskeletal diseases such as ALS. Based on U.S. population studies, more than 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year, for an average of 15 new cases each day. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time.
Serving Broward County and beyond, Holy Cross Hospital offers comprehensive neurological care for a variety of conditions. The Institute meets the needs of patients living with these diseases and conditions, providing support and enhancing access to services and treatment.
For more information about the Phil Smith Challenge, contact Lynn Mandeville 954-229-8569 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Holy Cross Hospital
A part of Trinity Health, Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Holy Cross Hospital is a full-service, non-profit, Catholic, teaching hospital operating in the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy. In 2016, U.S. News and World Report named Holy Cross Hospital among the top three hospitals in South Florida and one of only 63 in the nation to achieve “high performing” in all nine medical conditions surveyed. Through strategic collaborations and a commitment to being a person-centered, transforming, healing presence, the 557-bed hospital offers progressive inpatient, outpatient and community outreach services and clinical research trials to serve as our community’s trusted health partner for life. To learn more about Holy Cross Hospital, visit holy-cross.com. Connect @holycrossfl.