Retired Herff Jones chief donates $1M to St. V

November 10, 2008

St. Vincent Foundation said today that it will use a $1 million donation from retired Herff Jones Inc. CEO A.J. Hackl to set up a permanent endowment for the St. Vincent Joshua Max Simon Primary Care Center.

The center, which serves poor and uninsured patients, opened in October 2007 at 8414 Naab Road, across from the West 86th Street hospital. The 60,000-square-foot center is a larger, upgraded version of a clinic that stood just to the south. St. Vincent's clinic employs interpreters to assist a growing Spanish-speaking population and is equipped with a state-of-the-art classroom for physicians in training.

Hackl and his wife, Christine, are long-time supporters, the hospital said in a statement.

"Our country and state are under tough financial times, so when a donor makes such a significant contribution to the poor and vulnerable, it affords us the opportunity to ensure that uninsured patients receive accessible, compassionate care," Dr. Robert Lubitz, vice president of academic affairs and research at St. Vincent, said in the statement.

Hackl's donation is the second-largest to the primary-care center. In 2007, Bren and Melvin Simon put $2.4 million toward the facility's construction.

Herff Jones is a manufacturer of high school class rings, mortarboards and other educational supplies.

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