Maine Medical Center is receiving a $25 million donation from the family of a cable television executive and philanthropist, the largest single gift in the hospital’s 150-year history.

John and Leslie Malone, part-time residents of Maine who summer in Boothbay, donated the funds for the hospital’s $534 million capital improvement project, and a new tower for cardiac and vascular services will be named after them – the Malone Family Tower.

Leslie Malone recently received cardiac care at Maine Med, the hospital said in a statement.

“We were very impressed by the level of care that Leslie received at Maine Medical Center,” John Malone said in a statement. “We believe strongly in supporting healthcare innovation, and ensuring that all who call Maine home have access to world-class care.”

John Malone, 80, of Colorado is a cable television executive, former CEO of Tele-Communications Inc. and current chairman of Liberty Media, which also owns the Atlanta Braves. According to The Land Report magazine, Malone is the largest private landowner in the United States. His holdings include about 1 million acres of forestland in Maine.

The Malones declined a request for an interview through the hospital Tuesday.

Malone has made other large philanthropic contributions as well, including more than $42 million to Colorado State University for stem cell research and $50 million to the Yale University engineering school.

He has also given $30 million to the engineering school at Johns Hopkins University, where he earned a master’s degree, and $60 million to the Hopkins School, a private, college-preparatory school in New Haven, Connecticut, from which he graduated.

Malone, who serves on the board of directors of the Cato Insitute, a libertarian think tank, also has been a political donor, including giving $500,000 in 2020 to the 1820 PAC, a political action committee that supported the re-election of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

John and Leslie Malone, who summer in Boothbay, donated funds to Maine Medical Center’s $534 million capital improvement project, and a new tower for cardiac and vascular services will be named after them – the Malone Family Tower.  Photo courtesy the Malone family

The $25 million donation brings the total amount raised in the hospital’s fundraising campaign to $135 million. The campaign has set a goal of $150 million for the project.

The Malone Family Tower, a six-story, 265,000-square-foot building that will face Congress Street at the site of the former parking garage, is set to be completed by 2023. Initial construction work is underway.

The tower will include 64 patient beds and consolidate much of the hospital’s cardiac and vascular services – which are currently spread throughout the hospital – into one building, said Dr. Joel Botler, chief medical officer for Maine Med. Botler said modern surgery requires more space in operating rooms, and the operating rooms will be much larger in the tower.

“We need more people and additional equipment when doing surgical procedures, and that allows us to perform the surgery more efficiently,” Botler said in an interview with the Press Herald on Tuesday. Many cardiac and vascular surgeries and procedures will be conducted at the Malone Family Tower.

An artist’s rendering shows the planned Malone Family Tower at Maine Medical Center, as viewed from Congress Street. Rendering courtesy of Maine Medical Center

Jeff Sanders, Maine Med president, said that the donation “really helps us fund the overall renovation project.”

“The Malone Family Tower is going to be the premier place for cardiac and vascular care in Maine,” Sanders said. The six-year renovation project at Maine Med is slated to be completed when the Malone Family Tower project is done, on time and within the budget, Sanders said.

The Malone donation comes two years after Maine Med received two gifts totaling $10.5 million. Paul and Giselaine Coulombe, and their daughter Michelle Coulombe-Hagerty, donated $7.5 million to Maine Med, and what was formerly known as the East Tower has been renamed the Coulombe Family Tower. Also in 2019, Linda Bean and her sister Diana Bean of the L.L. Bean family donated $3 million, and the new helipad on top of the Coulombe Family Tower is now named the Linda and Diana Bean Heliport.

To date, Maine Med has added the new heliport, 64 new patient rooms, 225 additional parking spaces and a new employee parking garage. Maine Medical Partners, the outpatient arm of Maine Med, also recently opened a new 108,000-square-foot medical office building on its Scarborough campus.

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