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Alum donates $6M to Health Services

Katie Laird | Tuesday, December 9, 2003

University Health Services received a $6 million donation from Notre Dame alumni William Warren to completely renovate the University’s existing health care facility and incorporate Health Services, the Counseling Center and the Office of Drug and Alcohol Education into one facility.

Ann Kleva, director of Health Services, said she is very eager to begin the reconstruction.

“We hope to become an accredited health care facility. Our care meets the standards, but our building does not,” she said.

The current building does not meet fire codes, does not have handicap accessibility and lacks central air conditioning. In addition, the water is less than perfect due to pipe lining. The new renovation calls for the complete restoration of the building, including new ventilation and electrical, plumbing and fire-protection systems.

The anticipated cost of the total project is around $9 million, Kleva said. The University hopes to raise the remaining $3 million from funds for building maintenance and students’ health care services fees.

“Construction will be limited because we’re going to work with the existing building … it’s a beautiful old building, one of the best-built buildings on campus,” Kleva said.

Health Services will remain centrally located on campus as the University plans to expand Notre Dame’s borders in future years.

The University hopes to begin construction of the facility in May 2005, and anticipates its completion in August 2006. During this period, students will still be able to receive medical and counseling care.

“There is available space in the security building, so we can provide health care and provide 24-7 care that we have now. We won’t have interrupted care,” Kleva said.

Warren, who donated the funding for the facility, is the president of the Warren Foundation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

He also funded the construction of the Warren Golf Course on campus a few years ago. He was recently inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, where he was recognized for his contributions in health care and in higher education through scholarship funds, endowments and other programs.

“Historically, a lot of the [Warren] foundation has gone to health care. Mr. Warren is into research. He sees the need to improve the quality of life and to help the underprivileged. He’s very passionate about it,” Kleva said.

Kleva attended the induction ceremony in Oklahoma last month, where she had the chance to meet with Warren.

The Warren family has established other health facilities, including Saint Francis Health Services, a 750-bed acute care hospital in Tulsa. Kleva toured the facility and was impressed by the kindness and generosity of the staff. The family is also planning to construct a senior citizen care facility in Tulsa to assist the elderly.

“I’ve never seen such caring, such warm people in my whole life. How they interact with everyone … you get that sense of caring regardless if they’re a patient or a doctor,” Kleva said.

Kleva also described Warren as very passionate and loyal to Notre Dame.

“When he talked about Notre Dame and how excited he was… he said he’d always take care of Notre Dame. It means so much to him … When he found out there was a need for health services he was eager to help,” Kleva said.

The new facility will be named after the Warren family.

“After meeting him and his family, there isn’t another family that I would want the health center to be named after … I feel privileged to have their name on the building. Mr. Warren will take a personal interest,” Kleva said.