St. Mary's in Maine receives record-breaking $10M gift with one ask from donor: Use it for people, not buildings

Lewiston, Maine-based St. Mary's Health System received a record-breaking $10 million gift from the Albert Lepage Foundation, with one caveat — the money must be used on people and cannot be spent on buildings or infrastructure, according to the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.

The largest gift in the health system's history will establish the Albert Lepage Center for Patient Experience, which will focus on improving the way patients and their families interact with St. Mary's. The new center will feature aspects such as low-stress waiting areas with free coffee and work to create technologies to ease patient anxiety. 

The donation is a pledged gift, meaning the Albert Lepage Foundation will provide $250,000 per year to St. Mary's. A portion of each year's donation will go toward an endowment for continued patient experience work.

"[Mr. Lepage] wants programming. He wants services," J. Bradford Coffey, president of St. Mary's Health System Foundation, told the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.

Mr. Lepage donated to St. Mary's because he cares about its mission and believes the community has benefited from the hospital's compassion.

"I'm confident the new center will position St. Mary's to lead the industry in ensuring a patient's experience is exceptional," Mr. Lepage told the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal. 

Mr. Lepage was the former president of Lepage Bakeries — the producer of Country Kitchen and Barowsky's breads.  The bakeries were acquired by Flowers Foods for $370 million in 2012. 

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