The foundation of Potomac resident David Trone, founder of Total Wine & More and sometime political candidate, and his wife, June, donated $2.5 million to Suburban Hospital, the hospital announced Monday.
The sum represents one of the five largest gifts the Bethesda hospital has ever received, said Gary Stephenson, the hospital’s director of public relations.
The gift will go toward mental and behavioral health services and new projects on the hospital’s Old Georgetown Road campus: $1.5 million for a campus enhancement project, $500,000 for an addiction treatment program, $300,000 for the renovation of the inpatient behavioral health unit and $200,000 for the expansion of the crisis intervention unit and outpatient unit, Stephenson said Monday.
“Suburban’s a great hospital in our backyard and they’re doing wonderful things,” Trone told Bethesda Beat on Monday. “We felt that the areas of mental health and substance abuse affects every American family, and this gives us an opportunity to assist Suburban in the very strong work that they’re already doing.”
Trone said his family has a personal connection to the opioid crisis that inspired him to donate specifically to the addiction program: his 25-year-old nephew died of a fentanyl overdose at the end of 2016.
“We have to do our small part to stem the plague of opiate overdoses that are now ending the lives of more people than gun deaths and cars accidents every year,” Trone said.
Jacky Schultz, Suburban Hospital’s president, said gifts like the Trones’ donation keep Suburban “at the forefront” of health care. The renovation project will give the hospital more operating suites, patient rooms and access to advanced surgical technology, according to the release. Schultz said the money allocated to the addiction program will “improve access to care” for many suffering because of the ongoing opioid addiction crisis.
“June and David Trone’s game-changing assistance makes it possible for us to enhance our response to the surge in opioid addiction and expand access to mental health services, an aspect of addiction treatment that has been sorely underfunded,” Schultz wrote in a statement.
In recognition of the gift, Suburban Hospital will name a pavilion in the new medical building, scheduled to be completed in 2019, as the David and June Trone Family Foundation Physicians’ Pavilion, Stephenson said.
Trone said the amount of the donation was an effort to “effect lives immediately so they receive better care.” Health care and medical research are a recent focus of his foundation, though he said he has given “tens of millions” to other causes as well, particularly in the education sector and to criminal justice organizations.
Trone’s company, Total Wine & More, is based in Bethesda. It is the nation’s largest private retailer of wine and other alcohol products.
Trone, who spent more than $13 million of his own money on an unsuccessful bid for the 8th Congressional District seat in 2016, has not yet announced his future plans in running for political office, although he has set up a campaign-style office in Potomac, complete with campaign signs and work stations.
Trone said Monday that he’s “still considering” a possible run for Montgomery County Executive and or for the 6th Congressional District seat, which would be vacant if Rep. John Delany decides to run for governor.