Mindbody Inc. co-founder and chief executive officer Rick Stollmeyer and his ex-wife Lori Stollmeyer Ryan recently donated $1 million to French Hospital Medical Center’s Family Birthing Center expansion and remodel project.
The donation was announced at the hospital’s annual Celebration of Caring Gala on Sept. 6, where hospital representatives unveiled plans for the $4 million birthing center project, which will double the size of the unit and add more private birthing rooms, a new family waiting area, upgraded nursing station and a new C-section suite. The center opened 16 years ago and has not had a major upgrade since then.
Stollmeyer said he was inspired to donate $1 million because his family has had a close connection to French Hospital for many years: his youngest daughter, Madison, was born in the current birthing center, and Ryan worked at the hospital as an OB nurse and supervisor for 12 years and supported the family while Stollmeyer built Mindbody.
“It touches multiple levels of my life — my family, my work,” Stollmeyer said. “For Mindbody employees alone, there are going to be dozens of babies born just this year there. I’m really excited to be able to contribute to something that has touched me on so many levels.”
In recognition of the large donation, the new birthing center, once remodeled, will be named the Stollmeyer Family Birthing Center. Construction is expected to start soon and is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
French Hospital president and chief executive officer Alan Iftiniuk said Stollmeyer and Ryan had been in talks with the hospital for a while regarding making a donation, but the finalization of that donation at the gala was a surprise to everyone.
“We knew they felt very strongly about (the birthing center) — that area has been a big part of their lives,” Iftiniuk said. “We love Rick and Lori, and we are so appreciative of their wonderful philanthropy and generosity in supporting the hospital.”
Besides the Stollmeyer-Ryan donation, the hospital raised between $375,000 and $380,000 at the gala, Iftiniuk said — making it the hospital’s all-time most profitable fundraiser, even without the $1 million gift.
Iftiniuk said the gala normally raises about $200,000, though the previous record was $315,000.
“Overall it was an extremely successful event for us,” he said.