$10 million gift goes to UM Medical Center Developer, wife designate donation for cancer research

June 27, 1996|By Jonathan Bor | Jonathan Bor,SUN STAFF

Baltimore real estate developer Stewart Greenebaum and his wife, Marlene, have given $10 million to the University of Maryland Medical Center -- the largest private donation since the birth of the institution almost two centuries ago.

Most of the money will enhance cancer treatment and research, the fulfillment of a promise that Mr. Greenebaum made to his wife when she was diagnosed with breast cancer more than five years ago.

"It was an extremely stressful time, and I said, 'Don't worry, you're going to make it, and when you reach the five-year mark, we're going to do something very special,' " said Mr. Greenebaum, who is chairman of the University of Maryland Medical System.

"University has always been in my mind an extraordinarily compassionate hospital, though the compassion was better than the medicine years ago when it was a state-run hospital," he said. "It was probably no better or worse than most other state hospitals. But once privatized, it has gone on to do extraordinary things."

The University of Maryland Medical Center includes a sprawling teaching hospital, which became part of a private, nonprofit corporation in 1984, and the state-run medical school. Portions of the gift will support both parts of the center.

The couple quietly pledged the money last August -- almost five years to the day since Mrs. Greenebaum learned she had cancer -- but didn't publicly discuss their plans until yesterday. She considers herself a cancer survivor, having enjoyed good health since the grueling treatments that followed her diagnosis.

Mr. Greenebaum, 59, is president of the real estate development company, Greenebaum and Rose Associates, which, in the past 18 years, has completed projects valued in excess of $1 billion. The projects include residential communities in Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard counties as well as office towers in Washington.

Mrs. Greenebaum, 57, received her cancer treatment at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center. But the family has a long relationship with the University of Maryland Medical Center that began when Mr. Greenebaum's father, the late Harry Greenebaum, was successfully treated at the hospital for an abdominal aneurysm in the 1960s.

"Baltimore is blessed," Mr. Greenebaum said. "Many cities don't have a leading institution, and we are blessed with two."

Since 1994, Mr. Greenebaum has served as board chairman of the University of Maryland Medical System -- the umbrella for the hospital, cancer center, Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Kernan Hospital and Deaton Hospital. Before that, he headed the board's finance committee.

Mrs. Greenebaum volunteers in the records department of the UM center, filing and doing paperwork. "I just feel like I'm helping if I can do anything to expedite the doctors getting whatever they need -- by getting things in order."

The medical center will soon name its cancer facility after the Greenebaums. Dedication of the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center will take place later this year.

"This gift is a wonderful statement to the people who work in the cancer center and the people around the state who receive care here," said Dr. Morton I. Rapoport, president and chief executive officer of the Medical System. "It's something that will help establish this [cancer] institution as one of the outstanding institutions in the country."

The money will be used for many purposes, including the construction of a clinical building on Lombard Street that will be partly devoted to pediatric and adult oncology. The cancer center occupies space in the main hospital on Greene Street, the Homer Gudelsky Building, and the nearby medical school. The $218 million construction project is part of an effort to modernize facilities at the downtown medical complex.

Dr. Donald Wilson, dean of the medical school, said the gift will also support cancer research and the provision of experimental treatments to patients receiving care at the medical center. "All of this will help us in the recruitment of new faculty who will be involved in care and research," he said.

The Greenebaums also were founders of Children's House, donating $800,000 toward the construction of an 18-bedroom facility that provides lodging for families of children being treated for serious illnesses at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Biggest donations

Private gifts of more than $1 million to the University of Maryland Medical System and medical school:

$10 million -- Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum, 1996.

$5 million -- Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, 1989.

$3 million -- University Physicians Inc., 1991.

$2 million -- Shock Trauma Associates, 1991.

$1.5 million -- Homer and Martha Gudelsky Family Foundation, 1986.

$1.5 million -- Dr. James Frenkil, 1990.

$1.5 million -- Dr. Maxwell Hurston, 1994.

$1.5 million -- Mary Gray Cobey and William W. Cobey, 1992.

$1.25 million -- NationsBank, 1993.

Pub Date: 6/27/96

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