Spurred by the death of his wife following a horse-riding accident, a Napa entrepreneur is completing an $11 million donation — the largest in the hospital’s history — to Queen of the Valley Medical Center, hospital officials announced Wednesday.
Donations from a charitable foundation founded by Tim Herman will become a financial cornerstone for Queen of the Valley’s neuroscience center and a new operating room wing.
The last of three portions of the gift, a $5 million contribution, was accepted Oct. 2, according to Vanessa de Gier, spokeswoman for the Napa hospital.
“I’ve enjoyed helping raise money for the Queen,” Herman, a philanthropist and the retired co-founder of Delatech Inc., said Wednesday. “I have the capacity to give, so instead of waiting until I’m gone, I want to go ahead and help them out now.”
Funds from the Herman Family Foundation are being directed to the newly named Herman Family Pavilion, which is under construction and scheduled to open in the fall of 2013.
The three-story, 72,000-square-foot center will house six “hybrid” operating rooms uniting surgical facilities, medical imaging and video monitors meant to allow quicker diagnosis and operations, while lessening the chance of complications.
“The ease of operations is better for the patient because there’s less movement of the patient, and doctors can see how the patient’s doing in real time,” de Gier said.
Herman, who has lived in Napa for 26 years, in 1978 founded the company that became Delatech, a maker of pollution control equipment for the semiconductor industry. After selling the business in 1999, he and his wife Peggy launched a philanthropic foundation, and Tim Herman joined the board of the Queen of the Valley Foundation.
According to the hospital, plans for the hospital contributions began shortly after Peggy Herman’s death in 2007, from brain injuries she suffered in a horseback riding accident. An initial $1 million gift in 2011 helped underwrite the opening of Queen of the Valley’s Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, and two further donations of $5 million each will be directed toward the new hospital pavilion and its operating rooms.
Herman married Mary Beth Robinson, a sales executive for Napa Valley Marketplace magazine, in June, 2011. Together, they have been major supporters of the hospital, officials said.
Along with surgery and diagnostic facilities, the pavilion will include 20 intensive-care rooms with sofa beds to accommodate patients’ relatives — a feature hospital officials said can be as important to recovery as state-of-the-art equipment.
“It’s something that’s definitely needed; our operating rooms are quite antiquated and they need to be upgraded,” said Herman, who remarried in June 2011. “... Anything we can do to help prolong people’s lives, make them more comfortable, let (patients) go home after a day instead of a week, to me that’s just phenomenal and I think we should use it as much as we can.”
The Herman foundation’s gift accounts for more than half the $21.8 million Queen of the Valley has collected during a $30 million fundraising campaign for the surgery center, which is expected to cost $122 million, according to de Gier.
This story has been adjusted to reflect the role played by Herman's wife, Mary Beth Robinson.