Methodist receives $40M donation for organ transplant center

Commercial Appeal | Ted Evanoff

In April, liver transplant recipient Claire Flanagan (left) helped raise a new organ donation flag, as (left to right) Alison Apple, Jeff Liebman, and Dr. James Eason looked on during a ceremony to recognize National Donate for Life Month, outside Methodist University Hospital. (Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal)

A $40 million donation to Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute will help the Memphis center expand into a world-class research and transplant facility, hospital officials said Thursday.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare chief executive Gary Shorb announced the donation Thursday and said the expansion is the centerpiece of an upgrade planned for the Union Avenue campus that will surpass $100 million.

Methodist noted the anonymous donor earmarked part of the gift for the nearby University of Tennessee Health Science Center, whose faculty practice medicine in the 617-bed teaching hospital at 1265 Union.

The donation, largest ever for the 97-year-old hospital, is the latest major event in the $2.8 billion transformation under way in the Medical District, a cluster of five hospitals, the UTHSC complex and the Southern College of Optometry employing 17,000 on the edge of Downtown. Continue reading