St. Jude Medical Center Receives $2 Million Legacy Gift to Establish Endowment

By Staff     10/24/2017

St. Jude Medical Center has announced a $2 million legacy gift from the estate of Wo Kong Kwok, Ph.D., a Fullerton resident who made the donation in gratitude for the care his wife, Tzu-Wen Kwok, received before she passed away in 2016. The gift will establish the Wo Kong Kwok and Tzu-Wen Kwok Clinical Capacity Endowment Fund. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the establishment of this endowment which will allow St. Jude to continue pursuing excellence and innovation year after year, and respond to the greatest needs of our patients and community into the future,” said Brian Helleland, chief executive, St. Jude Medical Center.  

Dr. Kwok, a retired research fellow from DuPont, was inspired to make the gift after experiencing the care his wife, Tzu-Wen Kwok, received during her final days in St. Jude’s Critical Care Unit.  

St. Jude was recently honored with the 2016 Beacon Award for Excellence, from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). St. Jude is one of only 24 hospitals in California to earn the prestigious recognition, and one of only three in Orange County.  

“During our 20-day stay, we felt like the nurses, doctors and staff genuinely cared for her. They were very concerned with making her comfortable, even though she was in a lot of pain,” recalls Dr. Kwok. “As her sole decision maker, it was a stressful time for me. But the physicians and staff always took the time to discuss the best course for action, and I could tell they had the best intentions at heart. I was so impressed and grateful, and that’s why I made this gift.”  

In recognition of Dr. Kwok’s gift, St. Jude Medical Center recently named the Tzu-Wen Kwok Diagnostic Imaging Center in honor of his late wife. As one of Southern California’s most advanced imaging centers, the newly named facility will stand as a visible reminder of the Kwoks’ lifelong commitment to giving back to their community.  

“My wife and I were always grateful for the chance to study in the U.S., to work, to have all our freedoms. We spent our whole life in the U.S. trying to pay back the community, so it was a very logical thing to want to give back to our community’s hospital, because everyone, at some point, will need that hospital,” explains Dr. Kwok.  

Tzu-Wen Kwok was an artist whose work has been exhibited extensively across the U.S. and Taiwan. Four pieces of her artwork are now displayed in the diagnostic imaging center’s lobby.