Spanos familyFaye Spanos (seated center) and additional family members in front of the heart center at Mercy General Hospital


A Heart Full of Charity

In mid-April, the Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center at Mercy General Hospital opened its doors to patients. The lead gift to construct the Center came from Stockton businessman and philanthropist Alex G. Spanos. His pledge amounted to one of the largest commitments ever made to a Sacramento hospital, and inspired more than 500 philanthropic supporters, including past patients and community members, to contribute a total of close to $23 million in charitable gifts to support the project.

Mr. Spanos is no stranger to philanthropy—over the year he has contributed to countless charities and hosted numerous fundraisers with his best friend, the late entertainer, Bob Hope. It was Hope who said, “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.”

While it can be argued that Mr. Spanos has a heart full of charity, it was his own heart which began to fail him. In August, 2000, it was determined he needed a coronary artery bypass. Because Dignity Health’s Mercy General Hospital has a nationally recognized cardiac program, which has consistently been a leader in providing quality care and above-average outcomes for its heart patients, Mr. Spanos chose Mercy General for his procedure.

"I wanted to have the best people in the best program performing my open heart surgery," said Spanos. "During my stay at Mercy General, I received the best care from both physicians and staff. So, when I heard about the hospital's plans to further enhance their services, I felt compelled to support the project."

The Alex G. Spanos Heart & Vascular Center builds upon the foundation of excellence that has made Dignity Health a proven leader in cardiovascular care. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and supported by a patient-centered healing environment, this new world-class facility will serve Northern California well into the future.