Maine Medical Center announced $10.5 million in philanthropic donations Tuesday, June 11. Paul and Giselaine Coulombe, their daughter Michelle Coulombe-Hagerty and son-in-law Michael Hagerty were honored for their historic donation of $7.5 million with a renaming of MMC’s East Tower as the Coulombe Family Tower. Linda and Diana Bean were honored for their $3 million donation with the naming of new twin helipads as the Linda and Diana Bean Heliport.
MMC Chief Executive Officer and MaineHealth President Richard Peterson recognized the two families for their contributions and expressed the organization’s gratitude.
Said Peterson, “Maine Med serves the sickest patients in our region, we play a critical role in Maine's continuum of care and we need to modernize our facilities to continue to serve all who need us … With more private rooms, additional modern surgical suites and more convenient access to the hospital, we can continue to serve the growing acute care needs of Maine and deliver better outcomes and improved experience for patients and families … I just want to thank you for that and let people know that as much as this is a public event for a very large gift, the giving that takes place throughout the state with individuals like this is so meaningful.”
The Coulombe Family Tower will add two floors and 64 private rooms for oncology and is the first project of MMC’s $534 million expansion and modernization project. The existing five stories are the location for the Labor and Delivery unit, prenatal and pediatric care, NICU and several other mother-baby services. The heliport will have direct access to MMC’s emergency care. The project is expected to be completed before 2020.
Coulombe and his family said their motivation for their donation largely comes out of personal experience – Giselaine's battle with breast cancer in 2012, with ovarian cancer in 2016 and with a serious bacterial infection in 2017. Coulombe credits MMC, its staff and premier care to Giselaine's recovery and thriving health.
“Because of that important role that Maine Medical plays, the Coulombe family, my daughter and I and Giselaine and Michael (Hagerty) have decided to make a significant investment to enhance the quality of the medical facility here in Portland. I think that's probably one of the best investments we've ever made. We know it will give us the best possible return for the people of the State of Maine.”
Coulombe also introduced fellow donor Linda Bean, a longtime supporter and advocate for Lifeflight of Maine.
Said Coulombe, “I think Linda and I share two things in common: the love of the State of Maine and the people of the State of Maine. She's making a real difference in the medical treatment and she does it where it needs it the most and when it needs it the most.”
Bean said she and her sister Diana were born at Maine Medical Center in the 1940s when it was Maine General Hospital.
“Soon it will be the '40s again for my sister and me. We hope to make it,” Bean said. “This hospital service to Maine has become one of the major extended outreaches in the face of small hospital closures and consolidations … and (Coulombe's) gift to the Maine Medical Center is particularly significant because it serves a wide audience … so from the far reaches of Maine, more lives can now be saved. The Coulombe Family Tower is not just a gift to Portland, but to the entire State of Maine and its modus on land and sea.”
Bean said the helipads came about because Coulombe called and she and Diana answered. A fundraiser set for Aug. 8 at Bean's home on Port Clyde will feature matching gifts to Lifeflight of Maine and its crews and staff.