The Curtis Foundation: a lasting legacy

February 24, 2021 Providence News Team

Several years ago, Kevin and Jan Curtis attended a dinner and presentation at a friend’s house regarding the heart health program at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance. They left impressed with what they had heard about the hospital— and with a desire to help if they could.

Last year, the Curtises were able to make good on their desire to support Providence Little Company of Mary. After Kevin sold his longtime family business, he and Jan donated $750,000 to help fund a state-of-the-art neuro operating suite at the hospital. Contributions to fund the operating suite were also made by their friends Joann and Jim Hunter, who had introduced them to the hospital at that dinner years ago.

The gift has had a huge impact for the hospital and an equally significant impact for Kevin and Jan.

“We felt so blessed to be in the position that we could do something for our community,” Jan says. “First and foremost, in our minds was: How can we give back. What’s that saying? ‘Giving while you’re living.’”

The neuro operating suite is equipped with the latest technology, allowing surgeons to safely and effectively conduct the most anatomically difficult brain surgeries.

Prior to making the gift, the Curtises had dinner with the Chief Executive Garry Olney, and neurosurgeon Walavan Sivakumar, MD, to discuss the hospital’s needs. Dr. Sivakumar is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon with a focus on skull base and minimally invasive and endoscopic neurosurgery. He talked about the hospital’s growth as a major neurosciences treatment center and its affiliation with Pacific Neurosciences Institute, a large, highly regarded neuroscience practice in Los Angeles. 

“Dr. Sivakumar explained that the brain is the organ we know the least about, and yet it has such an impact on the entire physical and mental well-being,” Jan says.

The idea of funding the neuro operating suite spoke to their hearts. Many years ago, Kevin’s grandmother, Margaret Curtis, donated money to obtain one of the first Gamma Knife radiological systems—a radiation technology used to treat tumors and other neurological abnormalities—in Southern California, at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. The Curtis family attended a presentation marking the donation at Scripps.

“We discussed continuing the legacy of his grandmother,” Jan says. “It seemed to be the perfect approach for us and the Curtis family.”

Kevin and Jan also wanted to make an impact in their local community and ensure that world-class health care is available to their friends and neighbors.

“You look around and say, Is there something we can do for our community?” Jan says. “It’s our neighborhood hospital. We want to have excellence in our own community.” 

If you're interested in ways to support Providence Little Company of Mary, please visit

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