Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center receives record $15 million donation from the estate of Jaromir Strizka

August 25, 2015

BURBANK (Aug. 25, 2015) – Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center received a $15 million donation this week from the estate of long-time supporter and entrepreneur Jaromir Strizka, the largest ever gift to Providence Foundations, Southern California. 

The money is earmarked for programs designed to expand access to health care and to improve and enhance the Burbank hospital’s Emergency Department. The department will be named for Strizka, who died March 13 at age 95. 

“This extraordinary gift to Providence Saint Joseph is an inspiring demonstration of how donors throughout the years have transformed this hospital through their generosity,” said Peter Lynch, chairman of the Providence Saint Joseph Foundation Board of Governors. “Mr. Strizka’s association with Providence Saint Joseph stretched across more than 30 years, and we will forever honor him for his vision, his compassion and his benevolence.”

Strizka, who donated $2.3 million in 2013 to Providence Saint Joseph, was driven by the Communists from his native Czechoslovakia and rebuilt his fortune in America, establishing a musical instrument distribution and retail company. In his younger days he was a pole vaulter, who had qualified for the 1940 Olympics before the Games were canceled because of World War II.

“Jaromir Strizka was a self-made man who had strong ties in the Los Angeles music industry.  He repeatedly shaped his own destiny,” said Strizka’s attorney, Michael Overing, also a member of the Providence Holy Cross Foundation board. “Through his gifts to Providence Saint Joseph, he demonstrated his desire to advance the future of community health care and support the countless patients who will benefit from his generosity. 
 
“Mr. Strizka was a true philanthropist – his satisfaction came from helping others in his community without regard to personal recognition; his concern was to do good with the resources he shared.”

Providence Saint Joseph plans to use the funding to better meet the needs of the community’s growing and diverse population. One goal is to improve the patient experience in the Emergency Department with new equipment and technology. Since 2005, emergency visits have increased 26 percent, from 55,000 annually to more than 70,000 projected this year.

“Mr. Stritzka’s very generous gift to Providence Saint Joseph will help us in our continuing effort to enhance the way we provide care to our patients, their families and the larger community,” said Julie Sprengel, the hospital’s chief executive. “The scope of emergency care is evolving and our services also have to expand to provide for population health and preventative medicine, in addition to delivering emergent care for the very sick.

“Providing clinical excellence partnered with state-of-the-art technology and diagnostic capabilities are critical. Our goal is to transform how we deliver care. We must also be able to offer a personalized patient-centered experience, which addresses the medical, emotional, social and healing needs of the entire person.”