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'New' Parkland Hospital Hits Big Fundraising Goal

BJ Austin
The Parkland Foundation, hospital officials and donors reach the New Parkland fundraising goal ahead of schdule thanks to 12,700 individual donors.

In Dallas, officials at Parkland Hospital have announced a breakthrough.  The big news is financial, not medical.

Parkland Foundation President/CEO David Krause made the announcement in the lobby of the new Parkland Hospital, which opens in six months.

“I am very happy to report that just within the last week we’ve received a gift from Mike Myers, sitting right here, of $5 million that’s puts us over our goal,” Krause said.

That goal was to raise $150 million dollars in private donations. Krause says donations ranged from small change to $50 million from the Harold Simmons Foundation for the new 17-story, two million square foot hospital on Harry Hines, across the street from the current Parkland. 

Mike Myers, a banker and real estate developer, was on the Parkland Board in the 1980s’. He says there’s nothing more rewarding than being able to help people who need, but can’t afford, medical care. And he’s pleased be on the long list of donors to the $1.3 billion dollar county hospital.

“Not many cities in America, if any, have the public and private support I don’t think that this hospital does – in America," Myers said. "So, Dallasites ought to be proud, just like all of us are, that their community supports some good things.”

Dallas taxpayers approved a $700 million bond campaign in 2008, the first step to build a new state-of-the-art, safety-net hospital.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the generosity of the community is overwhelming.  And he says meeting the fundraising goal six months before the deadline is also testament to the tenacity of Parkland leadership during some tough times.

“That Board of Managers and all of those Parkland employees, volunteers and donors who stuck with Parkland during the darkest time, the federal oversight, and they brought Parkland to where they are today," Jenkins said.

The first patients move into the new Parkland August 20th.   

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.