• By Heather Carlson Kehren

Mayo Clinic receives $5 million gift to establish Center for Women’s Health

June 25, 2019
three young women laughing and smiling together

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has received a combined gift of $5 million from Penny and Bill George, and the George Family Foundation, to create the innovative Center for Women's Health. The center will be a destination where women will receive personalized, holistic health care that is tailored to meet their needs throughout their lives.

"Our gift represents a significant investment in shifting the ways women interact with health care at Mayo Clinic, one of the premier health care institutions in the U.S.," says Penny George. "Mayo Clinic has long been known for its Executive Health Program. This program will mirror the success of that approach but take it a step further. The focus will be not only on women, but also on integrative health and healing practices that will go hand in hand with traditional medicine — an approach we've been advancing through our work over the past two decades."

"We are truly grateful to Penny, Bill and the George family for their friendship and incredible generosity," says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., president and CEO of Mayo Clinic. "The Center for Women's Health furthers their visionary work to support lifelong, holistic care for women, and we are honored to partner with them to accomplish this goal."

The Center for Women's Health seeks to empower women to prioritize their care, and provide them with the options and solutions they need to improve their well-being based on their health needs, genetic traits, lifestyle and personal preferences. During an appointment in the center, women will be provided with information and education on health and wellness. They can take advantage of additional appointments or consultations in areas of women's health to help them stay healthy or to treat their medical conditions.

The multidisciplinary center also will work with other divisions and departments at Mayo Clinic to incorporate integrative health and lifestyle services into their models of care. In addition, the center will promote further research and education on how sex and gender affect health.

"This transformative philanthropic gift from Bill and Penny George, and the George Family Foundation, will personalize the health care experience of women," says Stephanie Faubion, M.D., Bill and Penny George Director, Center for Women's Health. "The Center for Women's Health will lead by example to set a new national standard for women's health care, providing personalized care that considers women as partners in their health care. The center's goal is to become a destination for women's health care where patients are not only treated for a specific condition, but also empowered with the tools and knowledge they need to improve their overall health and wellness: mind, body and spirit."

The center builds on the leadership role Penny George and the George Family Foundation have played over the past two decades to advance the principles of integrative health both locally and nationally. From co-founding the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing at Allina Health to underwriting programs that fund culturally significant healing practices at the grassroots level through the Catalyst Initiative, Penny George has helped to transform health care. Also, since 1999 the George Family Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants for initiatives supporting women and girls.

Mr. George has long been involved with Mayo Clinic, including serving on the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2019. "It's our hope that the Center for Women's Health inspires other philanthropists to join in the mission to transform health care for women, ensuring its continued success and elevating women's health as a priority at Mayo Clinic," he says.

About the George Family Foundation

Founded by Penny and Bill George in 1994, the George Family Foundation is a $60 million private family foundation that supports programs promoting integrative health and healing, authentic leadership, spirituality and mindfulness, youth development, the environment, and community.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. Learn more about Mayo Clinic. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Media contacts:

  • Heather Carlson Kehren, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu
  • Kate Lilja Lohnes, Lilja Communications for George Family Foundation, 952-893-7140, kate@lilja.com
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