Schulze Family Foundation Gives $2 Million for Abbott Northwestern ICU

Abbott Northwestern (courtesy photo)

By Maja Beckstrom
mbeckstrom@pioneerpress.com
Posted: 06/29/2015 12:01:00 a.m. CDT

A $2 million donation from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation will help Abbott Northwestern Hospital expand its neurological intensive care unit and treat more patients with injuries and disorders to the brain and spinal cord.

Schulze, who founded Best Buy, noted in a hospital news release that neurological disorders are "an area of care that has special significance for my family." 

The new ICU, to open in late 2016 as the Richard M. Schulze Neuro Intensive Care Center, will exclusively care for patients being treated for stroke, brain tumors, aneurysms, spinal surgeries and other high-risk neurological problems. Neurological patients are currently cared for in one of the hospital's two intensive care units, and share space with other patients.

Abbott Northwestern, in Minneapolis, treats more patients with neurological disorders and performs more brain and spine surgeries than any other hospital in the Twin Cities, according to the news release. The hospital says the new specialized space and several new staff, including two physicians certified in neurological intensive care, will allow it to increase the neuro patients by 30 percent.

Allina Health, which owns Abbott and 11 other hospitals, is paying two-thirds of the total $40 million cost of the new ICU. With the Schulze gift, a fundraising campaign launched in 2013 has raised $10.7 toward the $15 million goal in individual and foundation grants.

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation was created in 2004 by Schulze and is now one of the largest foundations based in Minnesota. The $2 million gift was among a total of more than $26 million in grants given out in the first half of 2015.

Maja Beckstrom can be reached at 651-228-5295.