As the largest individual donor to support Christiana Care Health System, Carol A. Ammon is the picture of philanthropy, giving her talent, energy and financial support to transform Wilmington Hospital into a state-of-the-art center of healing and compassion in the heart of the city.
On May 13, the unveiling of her portrait inside the Carol A. Ammon South Tower at Wilmington Hospital provided an opportunity to recognize her extraordinary contributions to Christiana Care and to the community.
“Philanthropy is a catalyst for change,” said Robert J. Laskowski, M.D., MBA, Christiana Care president and CEO. “A building like this couldn’t happen without out that community, that catalytic spark that comes from neighbors giving.”
“Carol’s leadership is spectacular. She asks good questions, the hard questions that lead to transformational ideas.”
Dr. Laskowski called Ammon “a transformational leader” whose extraordinarily generosity is further elevated by insight and compassion. Her vision for making expert, respectful care accessible to all is unwavering, he said.
Ammon is the founder and retired chief executive officer of Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical firm in Chadds Ford, Pa. Before that, she was president of DuPont Merck’s U.S. Pharmaceutical Division. She also served as chair of the board of Christiana Care from 2006 to 2011.
Her gift to Wilmington Hospital is the largest individual donation in the health system’s history.
Ammon recalled that she was invited to become involved with Christiana Care nearly 20 years ago. Her enthusiasm was immediate and enduring.
“I realized that I was part of a community,” she said.
Gary Pfeiffer, the current board chair, said Ammon made a lasting impression on the health system’s leadership. “You brought your intellect, your business sense and your New York sense of humor,” he said.
Janice Nevin, M.D., chief medical officer, remembered the night in 2009 when the board, then chaired by Ammon, took the bold step of approving the $210 million transformation of Wilmington Hospital. “It was one of the finest moments I have ever experienced,” she said. “The facility that resulted from that decision has allowed us to transform how we care for patients, becoming their true partners.”
Edmondo Robinson, M.D., MBA, physician-in-chief at Wilmington Hospital and associate CMO, said the generosity of Ammon and other donors extends beyond the hospital, touching the people of the city. “The community deserves this wonderful hospital, with all its technological advances,” he said. “There are people in the city who have been coming here since they were born, and this transformation is a reflection of our commitment to them.”
After nearly five years of renovations, Wilmington Hospital has almost doubled in size to 1 million square feet, including a new intensive care unit, 120 private patient rooms and a new surgical suite with 13 operating rooms and four procedure rooms. The Emergency Department has doubled in size.
While the construction and renovation will be completed later this year, Ammon said her service will continue.
“It doesn’t end here,” she said. “I want to stay involved.”