Michael Amini, chair and chief executive officer (CEO) of Amini Innovation Corp. (AICO), joined more than 150 supporters at City of Hope on Dec. 15 for the groundbreaking of the Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center. The center will house City of Hope’s blood-processing programs, which are critical to the successful treatment of many serious illnesses.
The 60,000-square-foot facility will expand City of Hope’s blood collection, analysis, processing and transfusion programs to accommodate growing numbers of patients and blood donors. It is also the institution’s first environmentally friendly, “green-certified” building.
Michael A. Friedman, M.D., City of Hope president and CEO, and Alexandra Levine, M.D., chief medical officer, donned hardhats and shovels at the groundbreaking alongside Amini, a longtime City of Hope supporter. Amini made a $6 million gift in 2006 to establish the new center, adding to a previous $2 million matching grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. California State Assemblymember Ed Hernandez and Steven M. Hilton, president and CEO of the Hilton Foundation, delivered remarks during the ceremony, along with Amini and former City of Hope patient Lacey Conlan.
“I learned of City of Hope through a close business colleague. After attending several fundraising events, getting to know individuals treated at City of Hope, and touring the facility, I realized that this was a place truly worthy of my strongest support,” said Amini. “I am honored to be able to help City of Hope further its mission of innovative research combined with compassionate patient care. It is my hope that this building will support City of Hope’s treatment and research for decades to come.”
The Amini Center will house all components of the Department of Transfusion Medicine, bringing City of Hope’s blood-collection and processing programs into one place and providing a modern, comfortable environment for patients, donors and staff. The new facility will enable City of Hope to expand services for patients who need blood transfusions as part of cancer treatment, open opportunities for more research, meet new and future government regulations for blood and stem cells and accommodate further expansion.
The facility’s second floor will house the Blood Donor Center, the Stem Cell Collection Unit for patients, the National Marrow Donor Program and blood-donor recruitment offices, and physicians’ offices. The area also will feature space for private consultation, blood and platelet collection, treatment services for transplant patients, and a specially designed area for children. The Amini Center’s third floor will be used to expand operations and meet the department’s future needs.
“Transfusion medicine plays an increasingly prominent role in modern medical care,” said Friedman. “Without life-sustaining transfusion support, many complex treatments and surgical procedures would not be possible. The Michael Amini Transfusion Medicine Center will consolidate all aspects of the use of blood products, including donor screening and transfusion management, while enabling important collaboration between City of Hope’s researchers and physicians to advance clinical care and benefit patients.”
Amini, an active member of City of Hope’s National Home Furnishings Industry chapter, received that group’s West Coast Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 for his personal, professional and philanthropic achievements. The National Home Furnishings Industry chapter was created by a group of industry leaders who wanted to help in the search for a cure for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. It currently encompasses representatives from all facets of the industry, including retail, manufacturing and publishing. To date, the group has raised more than $40 million for City of Hope.