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Donation given in appreciation of St. John Hospital doctors


December 19, 2013
Gretchen C. Valade has donated another transformational gift to St. John Hospital and Medical Center to benefit the cardiology and orthopedics programs, two areas she has previously provided with philanthropic support.

With 80 percent of the gift, an endowment will be created for the exclusive purpose of supporting the structural and endovascular heart program within cardiology and cardiovascular surgery. The remaining portion of the gift will support an advanced imaging program for orthopedics, the newest Center of Excellence at St. John Providence Health System.


Valade’s latest contribution is related to her 2009-2010 donations. Her past gifts provided funds for the Gretchen C. Valade cardiovascular hybrid operating room and structural heart program, Michigan’s first CON-approved cardiovascular hybrid operating room, and a da Vinci® Si HD Surgical System, a robotic surgical device for minimally invasive cardiovascular procedures.

To date, nearly 1,000 cases have successfully been completed in the hospital’s cardiovascular hybrid operating room. This includes more than 50 clinical trial cases for the Medtronics CoreValve® System, a minimally invasive option for patients with symptomatic, severe aortic stenosis who are at high risk, or are ineligible, for open heart surgery.

With Valade’s recent gift, the door is now open for further valve and structural research possibilities, and the hospital is a contender for other key trials and research opportunities.

“The generous funding for an endowment to support these cardiovascular endeavors helps ensure the future of this nationally recognized program,” says Thomas LaLonde M.D., chief of cardiology and cardiovascular services.

Valade’s latest gift is in appreciation of the work done by doctors LaLonde, Sanjay Batra and Thomas Davis M.D., and the cardiology staff.

Previous donations from Valade to the orthopedic area include the Valade gym, education center and spa, a tribute to her friend, Michael C. Burke, in 2011. The center is focused around wellness and holistic care and features a state-of-the-art gym, including a car simulator to prepare patients for discharge; an education center for community outreach and family education; and a spa catering to the care of the body, mind and spirit.

With the purchase of an imaging system for orthopedics, the hospital assists orthopedic surgeons to use this innovative facility for their patients.

This gift to orthopedics is made in recognition of the work done by Christopher Lee M.D., section chief, orthopedic surgery, and the entire orthopedics staff.

Valade’s past donations include support of: The Expansion Campaign, 5 North patient floor of the Pavilion in December 2006; The Suites in December 2004 and The Valade Healing Arts Center in January 2000

Additionally, she has been a strong supporter of the St. John Providence Health System Hospice Program, its emergency center and the hospital’s General Opportunity Fund.

A lifelong resident of Grosse Pointe Farms, Valade is chair of Carhartt Inc., CEO of Mack Avenue Records, owner of the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, the Morning Glory Coffee Shop and Bakery and Capricious Boutique. She also supports Detroit’s Jazz Festival.


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