St. Jude Medical Center Receives $2 Million Legacy Gift to Establish Endowment

September 29, 2017

St. Jude Medical Center is pleased and honored to announce a remarkable $2 million legacy gift from the estate of Wo Kong Kwok, Ph.D., a Fullerton resident who made the donation in gratitude for the care his wife, Tzu-Wen Kwok, received before she passed away in 2016.

The gift will establish the Wo Kong Kwok and Tzu-Wen Kwok Clinical Capacity Endowment Fund.

“We are incredibly grateful for the establishment of this endowment which will allow St. Jude to continue pursuing excellence and innovation year after year, and respond to the greatest needs of our patients and community into the future” said Brian Helleland, Chief Executive, St. Jude Medical Center.

Dr. Kwok, a retired research fellow from DuPont, was inspired to make the gift after experiencing the care his wife, Tzu-Wen Kwok, received during her final days in St. Jude’s Critical Care Unit. St. Jude was recently honored with the 2016 Beacon Award for Excellence, from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). St. Jude is one of only 24 hospitals in California to earn the prestigious recognition, and one of only three in Orange County.

“During our 20-day stay, we felt like the nurses, doctors and staff genuinely cared for her. They were very concerned with making her comfortable, even though she was in a lot of pain,” recalls Dr. Kwok. “As her sole decision maker, it was a stressful time for me. But the physicians and staff always took the time to discuss the best course for action, and I could tell they had the best intentions at heart. I was so impressed and grateful, and that’s why I made this gift.”

In recognition of Dr. Kwok’s gift, St. Jude Medical Center recently named the Tzu-Wen Kwok Diagnostic Imaging Center in honor of his late wife. As one of Southern California’s most advanced imaging centers, the newly named facility will stand as a visible reminder of the Kwoks’ lifelong commitment to giving back to their community.

“My wife and I were always grateful for the chance to study in the U.S., to work, to have all our freedoms. We spent our whole life in the U.S. trying to pay back the community, so it was a very logical thing to want to give back to our community’s hospital—because everyone, at some point, will need that hospital,” explains Dr. Kwok.

Tzu-Wen Kwok was an artist whose work has been exhibited extensively across the U.S. and Taiwan. Four pieces of her artwork are now displayed in the diagnostic imaging center’s lobby.

For Dr. Kwok, the opportunity to express his gratitude through philanthropy has helped with his own healing.

“Doing this for Tzu-Wen has brought me a sense of closure. I often think about the meaning of life. You come, you live, you leave. But what will you do while you’re here? For me and my wife, our philosophy was to do something good for society,” he said. “Thanks to this experience, I now feel ready to move forward.”

About St. Jude Medical Center

St. Jude Medical Center is a faith-based, non-profit, 320-bed facility, and is one of Southern California’s most-respected and technologically-advanced hospitals. St. Jude was named one of Southern California’s top hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The 2017-18 Best Regional Hospitals list named St. Jude a high-performing hospital in nine areas, including: orthopedics, pulmonology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, knee replacement, hip replacement, colon cancer surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, heart failure and heart bypass surgery. Whether for the birth of a baby, life-saving surgery or a routine mammogram, St. Jude continues to set the standard for medical care and offers the community the most comprehensive array of services and programs. Areas of specialty include: Neuroscience, Stroke, Cancer, Cardiac, Maternity, Orthopedics and Joint Replacement and Rehabilitation. Learn more at stjudemedicalcenter.org.

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