East Alabama’s Russell Medical receives ‘transformational’ $25M gift
Russell Medical, a hospital located in Alexander City that serves a large portion of East Alabama, announced a multi-facility expansion on Thursday that is being made possible by a $25 million gift.
Making the donation to the nonprofit hospital are Ben and Luanne Russell. Ben Russell is the CEO of Russell Lands, the company that has developed much of the area around Lake Martin. His grandfather, affectionately known as “Mr. Ben,” built the famous Russell clothing company.
The gift from the Russells is the largest in the history of Russell Medical. It will provide for the construction of a new large-scale project focused on providing care for the elderly.
To be built on the hospital’s campus in Alexander City, the Russell Legacy Project will include 26 units of independent living single-family cottages, an assisted living facility with 32 units.
The Russells’ donation will also provide for the construction of the Benjamin Russell Center for Advanced Care, a new project for the hospital that will “provide comprehensive geriatric health care and specialty health care services,” per a release.
“Ben and Luanne’s extraordinary act of generosity reflects a caring family who are great supporters of Alexander City, the Lake Martin area, and the medical community in Alabama. The Russell Legacy Project allows us to grow services centered on the largest sector who are in need of healthcare services, those citizens 65 years and older,” stated Jim Peace, president and CEO of Russell Medical.
In addition to the new facility, the gift from the Russels will create the Benjamin Russell Endowed Chair in Geriatrics, pending approval by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees. Russel Medical is a member of the UAB Health System.
“Each day for the next 20+ years, approximately 10,000 adults will turn 65, and with this trend, the demand for Geriatricians is expected to skyrocket,” remarked Dr. Cynthia Brown, director for the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care at UAB.
The advanced care facility will be constructed in front of the hospital’s cancer center and will look out onto Highway 280. In addition to its primary focus on elder care, the center will house Women’s Health and other specialty clinics.
“As lifelong residents of Alexander City, Luanne and I have supported the Lake Martin area and this hospital and are pleased to be able to make this gift, honoring my grandfather, Benjamin Russell. Mr. Ben did much for this state and its people. This gift is one way Luanne and I can recognize his contributions,” said Ben Rusell.
Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.