It’s Personal: Family Experiences Inspire Latest Gifts from Sue J. Gross
“Many women I have known have bravely faced breast cancer, including my mother and two sisters,” Gross said when making her gift from the Sue J. Gross Foundation. “I’m proud to be able to make this gift in all of their honors.” In gratitude for her major gift, Hoag renamed the Sue J. Gross Comprehensive Breast Center, located within the Women’s Health Institute. “My wish is that this contribution will serve as a beacon of hope for all women battling this disease,” Gross said. This new gift further expands her commitment to supporting all aspects of women’s health and to enhancing the programs and critical services in the Breast Center, especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are encouraging women to resume their annual breast imaging,” said Allyson Brooks, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Ginny Ueberroth Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair and Chief Quality Officer, Women’s Health Institute, noting that many women delayed their screenings during the pandemic
“Sue Gross’ compassion and concern for the health and well-being of women is remarkable,” said Flynn Andrizzi, president of the Hoag Hospital Foundation. “This latest gift will enable us to continue our pioneering care in breast cancer and our ongoing quest to once and for all help discover a cure for a disease that impacts the lives of millions of women around the world.”
A LIFE SAVED—A GIFT IN GRATITUDE
Gross’ $1 million gift to the Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center is equally personal and impactful, reflecting her gratitude to doctors for saving her brother-in-law’s life. Dr. Joseph Warpinski suffered a significant wound, and doctors in Wisconsin, where he lives, said he might not survive more than a few days. Gross urged Dr. Warpinski to come to Hoag’s comprehensive wound healing center, where Sally Warpinski—who is his wife and her sister—had undergone treatment just one year earlier.
“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,” Dr. Warpinski said. In appreciation of Gross’ gift, Hoag named the Sally & Joseph Warpinski Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center. The Center, which partners with Healogics®, was recently honored with the Center of Distinction Award for achieving outstanding patient outcomes for 12 consecutive months.
“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,” Dr. Warpinski said.
The reach of Gross’ gift will extend far beyond her own family. “This wonderful gift from the Sue J. Gross Foundation is just the latest example of Sue’s remarkable generosity and lifelong affection for Orange County and her concern for the well-being of its residents,” said Andrizzi.
Through the Sue J. Gross Foundation, and as past president of the Gross Family Foundation, Gross has long supported issues she cares deeply about with major financial gifts that have expanded quality health care services available to Orange County residents.
Prior to these two gifts totaling $6 million, past support from Gross includes a $20 million gift to fund comprehensive women’s services at Hoag. Hoag renamed its women’s health care facility the Sue & Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion. For many years, it was the largest gift in Hoag’s history. Another gift funded the Gross Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery, which is held by renowned oncologist Dr. Melvin J. Silverstein, medical director of the Sue J. Gross Comprehensive Breast Center.
Indeed, her most recent gifts add to a remarkable legacy of giving to Hoag through the years.