Lorne and Heidi Waxlax commit $1 million to Indian River Medical Center

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Local benefactors Lorne and Heidi Waxlax have committed $1 million to help fund a surgical recovery room at the Indian River Medical Center to be named in their honor.

The donation for the post-surgery recovery room is part of the hospital’s $50 million master facility plan and will help turn Indian River Medical Center “from a good community hospital to a first rate medical center,” said Medical Center Foundation Chairman C.B. “Jack” Rogers.

“This magnificent gift from Lorne and Heidi Waxlax brings us dramatically closer to realizing the transformation of health care for our community, bringing us from a good community hospital to a first rate medical center,”  Rogers told a gathering of the Foundation’s Eagle Society. “We are all indebted to them.”

The Waxlax’s are longtime supporters of the medical center foundation and are well known for generous donations to other causes in the community. They were the 2007 presenting sponsors of the Pops in Paradise performance of the Boston Pops in Riverside Park.

“It gives us great pleasure to be able to help Indian River Medical Center continue the great things they have been able to do during the last five years,” Lorne Waxlax said. “Our entire community is benefiting from what philanthropy has made possible for our medical center. We decided this was the time for us to do something significant for what we feel is the most important of the many worthy organizations in the area.”

Lorne and Heidi Waxlax have lived in Vero Beach 16 years, prior to that Lorne was executive vice president of the Gillette Company from 1985 to 1993. His responsibilities included worldwide management of its Braun AG subsidiary based in Germany, along with the Oral B Laboratories and Jafra Cosmetics, both based in California.

Other contributions to the community by the couple include St. Edwards School, Riverside Theater, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Environmental Learning Center and a variety of non-profits with their total gifts nearing the $6 million mark.

The recovery room is a major component of the medical center’s master facility plan. The first phase of the campaign in 2005 provided $15 million in funding for a new emergency services pavilion, featuring 31 private acute care and express care rooms, plus a 4-bed observation unit and an 8-bed clinical evaluation unit.

A second $15 million built The Heart Center, in affiliation with Duke University Health System in 2006. Philanthropic funding for the Heart Center also provided an upgraded imaging department, clinical laboratory and blood bank.

The Waxlax gift will bring the Foundation closer to building the recovery room (sometimes referred to as a post anesthesia care unit) and a planned surgical intensive care unit. The two projects will be adjacent to one another near the Heart Center.

The new surgical intensive care unit will provide the latest technology and larger rooms allowing for family member stays for cardiovascular surgery, vascular surgery and neurosurgery patients.

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