The Hoag Hospital Foundation Monday announced a $1 million gift from the Sue J. Gross Foundation to Hoag’s Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, which the billionaire philanthropist credits with saving the life of her brother-in-law.
In appreciation of the gift, Hoag is naming the Sally & Joseph Warpinski Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center in honor of Sue Gross’ sister and brother-in-law.
Dr. Joseph Warpinski contracted an infection so severe that doctors in Wisconsin, where it was initially diagnosed, warned he might not survive more than a few days, according to a statement released by Hoag.
Aware of Hoag’s Wound Healing Center based on treatment that Sally Warpinski had received at the same facility one year earlier — and after encouragement from Gross — the couple traveled to Orange County, where he was treated by Hoag’s wound-care specialists.
“Sally and I went through quite an ordeal that went from bad to worse until we got to Hoag and the incredible doctors, nurses and staff at Hoag turned it around for me,” Joseph Warpinski said.
“There is no question in my mind that I am here today because of them and want to especially thank Dr. Michael Bain, Dr. Catherine Koper, Dr. Kambiz Vahabzadeh and Dr. Jonathen Zelkin,” he said. “We don’t think wound care receives the recognition it deserves as most of us don’t realize just how dire your situation can become — and how important the work the doctors in this field do is — until you experience it for yourself or through a loved one. Because of this, we are so pleased and honored to have this center named after us.”
Flynn A. Andrizzi, president of the Hoag Hospital Foundation, said Gross, ex-wife of PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross, has donated funds to Hoag before, and her latest gift “underscores her richly deserved reputation as one of California’s most generous and compassionate philanthropists.”
“I have long cared about supporting quality health care in Southern California, and particularly in my local community of Orange County,” she said. “Hoag is one of the best and I know through personal experience. Not only have they treated my sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Joe Warpinski, but I myself and nearly all of my loved ones have also benefited from the extensive team of experts within the Hoag network.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much loss and trauma for so many and all the resources going toward the virus are clearly mission critical, but I also want to make sure that our everyday health care needs remain available to Orange County residents, which is why I am pleased to support this center now and look forward to other health care initiatives that I plan to give to through my new foundation,” she said.
Past gifts included a $20 million donation to fund comprehensive women’s services at Hoag, which renamed its women’s health care facility the Sue & Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion; and funding of the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery.