December 19, 2013 - 6:07pm
BY YARDAIN AMRON
Both Victors for Michigan fundraisers and University of Michigan Health System cardiologists have reason to be smiling.
On Thursday, the University announced a $7.5 million donation to help build a new hybrid operating room in the Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
The gift came from Robert and Ann Aikens, University alumni and frequent donors. The donation will be matched by the University of Michigan Health System, totaling $15 million for the new room.
The new OR is set to open in 2015 and will be double the size of a regular OR — the third one of its kind at the University — to make possible advanced surgeries that require both radiological and surgical procedures.
In a statement, G. Michael Deeb, director of the University’s Multidisciplinary Aortic Clinic, said technology is changing the way health problems are treated. The new hybrid clinic will allow UMHS to take advantage of those advances.
“If we have a patient with a large aneurysm and cardiovascular disease, we would like to treat those problems simultaneously in order to decrease time on the heart-lung machine,” Deeb said.
The University’s International Registry for Acute Aortic Dissection will also benefit from the Aikens donation, which, since its creation in 1996, has explored the genetics behind why some individuals are more vulnerable to aortic complications.
According to the Center for Disease Control, aortic aneurisms caused about 11,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2009.
Jerry May, the University’s vice president for development, lauded the Aikens’ contributions to the University in a statement.
“They have enriched arts and law education at the U-M, and their continued philanthropy will improve the health of U-M patients,” May said.
Past contributions from the couple include the Robert B. Aikens Commons in the Law School and other law, arts and athletic programs.
The donation will be part of the $1 billion fundraising goal for the health system — a component of the Victors for Michigan $4 billion campaign.