Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact:  Gary Stephenson
410.955.5384; [email protected]
May 2, 2005


Noted philanthropist and Johns Hopkins supporter Virginia Weiss has donated $2 million to the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute. In recognition of the gift, the family waiting area of the Heart Institute, to be located within the planned new Cardiovascular & Critical Tower, will be named in her honor.

“We are truly appreciative of this important gift so vital to implementing our vision of the new Hopkins Hospital for the new century,” says Edward D. Miller, M.D., CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of its medical faculty. “Virginia Weiss and her late husband, Abraham, are well-known for their business success as well as their graciousness and abiding belief in the transformational power of philanthropy.”

Virginia Weiss has a long history of supporting the communities of Baltimore and Palm Beach, Fl. She actively supports a variety of social and cultural organizations.

Virginia Weiss and her husband have provided invaluable support to Hopkins.  Last year, they endowed the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Professorship in Cardiology at Hopkins as a demonstration of their desire to improve health care and in appreciation of the care they have received from Hopkins Medicine.  In making the gift, they expressed hope that it will support continued investigation of heart function with the ultimate goal of discovering new ways to diagnose and treat heart disease.

“Over several decades, the Weiss family has made significant contributions to Baltimore through their businesses and philanthropy,” says Art Modell, chairman of the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute board of governors and former majority owner of the Baltimore Ravens football team. “Virginia’s most recent commitment to the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute sends an important signal to Baltimore and the state of Maryland about the importance of Hopkins Medicine to heart patients and their families. Her philanthropy ensures that this world-renowned institution will continue to be a vibrant resource for all of us. I am touched to know that Virginia and her daughter, Amy Meadows, who serves on the Heart Institute board of governors, are so deeply committed to the Heart Institute.”

While her earlier gift to Hopkins was designed to advance science and patient care, her latest donation aims to help the families of patients.

“Anyone who has had to endure the emotionally trying period of waiting while a loved one undergoes serious surgery or a complex procedure knows how difficult the wait can be,” Weiss says. “I want to ensure that family members experiencing this ordeal can do so in a comfortable and pleasant sanctuary.”

The Johns Hopkins Heart Institute will be located in the Cardiovascular & Critical Care Tower and is part of a massive redevelopment of Hopkins’ East Baltimore medical campus.  It will integrate advanced diagnostic and therapeutic services and specialists from every branch of cardiac care, including cardiology, cardiac surgery, vascular medicine, radiology and critical care anesthesia. Faculty and researchers will work collaboratively in the new facility, which was specially designed to hasten the results of research into clinical application.

“When completed, the new Heart Institute will reaffirm Hopkins’ historical commitment to leadership in cardiovascular and surgical research and its clinical application,” says William A. Baumgartner, cardiac surgeon-in-charge at Hopkins and the Vincent L. Gott, M.D. Professor of Cardiac Surgery. “Hopkins and the Heart Institute are fortunate to have such wonderful and forward-thinking supporters as Virginia Weiss to help make this possible.”

- -JHM- -