Two families have made sizable gifts totaling $10.5 million to Portland’s Maine Medical Center, the hospital announced Tuesday.
Paul and Giselaine Coulombe and their daughter, Michelle Coulombe-Hagerty, pledged $7.5 million, the largest single gift from an individual family in the hospital’s history. In honor of the gift, Maine Medical Center said it would rename its East Tower, which houses women’s and children’s services and is undergoing an expansion, the Coulombe Family Tower.
The second gift, totaling $3 million, came from Linda and Diane Bean, of L.L. Bean fame. The hospital will honor that gift by naming the new heliport atop the Coulombe Family Tower the Linda and Diane Bean Heliport.
The expansion of the Coulombe Family Tower comes as part of Maine Medical Center’s $534 million expansion. Two floors with 64-private beds dedicated to oncology care will be added to the five storey structure along with two new helipads at its top, according to the hospital. The Portland Planning Board approved the Coulombe Family Tower project, which is expected to be completed in late 2019, in March.
The entire project will add 128 private rooms, 19 procedure rooms for surgeries and other complex treatments, and improve parking access for staff and patients, the hospital said.
The Coulombes said that their gift was spurred by care that Gisealaine, a cancer survivor, received at Maine Medical Center in recent years for various illnesses.
“I am grateful for the compassionate, coordinated care I’ve received at Maine Medical Center,” said Giselaine Coulombe, who lives in Boothbay Harbor with her husband. “As a cancer survivor, it is so special to be part of a project that will make high quality, life-saving care more accessible to oncology patients from across Maine.”
The Bean sisters, who have been strong supporters of LifeFlight of Maine, made their gift in acknowledgement of the expanded helipad coming to Maine Medical Center that will allow two helicopters to land and take off at the same time.
“With the combination of Maine Medical Center and LifeFlight providing the latest in emergency helicopter medical technology, we have the best chance to extend the outreach of MMC’s skilled doctors, nurses and staff to wherever emergencies happen,” said Linda Bean, who owns Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine, a group of shops, restaurants and rentals on Maine’s midcoast.
Richard Petersen, Maine Medical Center’s CEO and the president of Maine Health, the hospital’s parent health system, called the families “generous beyond belief,” and added that “The Coulombe Family Tower is going to become synonymous with life-changing experiences as the home of some of our most critical women’s and children’s services, emergency medicine and our new state-of-the-art oncology unit.”