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Business Review Western MI
Business Review Western MI
Fox's $1 million gifts bring da Vinci to GR
(2007-12-12)
(wgvu) - Fox's $1 million gifts bring da Vinci to GR

Dec. 13, 2007

By Mark Sanchez
marks@mbusinessreview.com

He knows diamonds, not health care.

So when Tom Fox and his family wanted to make a donation to Spectrum
Health, he listened to the experts and then gave the $1 million so the
Grand Rapids health system could buy a high-tech surgical robot.

Then the family did the same thing later for Saint Mary's Health
Care.

And they did it again for Metro Health Hospital, significantly driving
the deployment of the da Vinci Surgical System in Grand Rapids over the
past two years.

The generosity of the family closes the circle, Metro Health
President and CEO Mike Faas said of the donation. You could say the
family is the founder of robotic surgery in the Grand Rapids market.

Tom and Mickie Fox gave $1 million to Metro Health last week to buy a
da Vinci robot. They and their family earlier gave that same amount each
to Spectrum Health and Saint Mary's Health Care.

A long-time jeweler in Grand Rapids who still operates a store on 28th
Street, Tom Fox said the more he learned about the da Vinci robot, the
more he wanted to help bring the technology to Grand Rapids.
He decided to donate to all three local health systems to buy a da
Vinci surgical robot, calling it vitally important that each have
the technology.

It makes health care in Grand Rapids with the three major health
systems equal, Fox said from his Florida winter home.

Representing the latest advancement in medical technology, the da Vinci
robot allows surgeons to perform precise and less-invasive cardiac,
urological and gynecological procedures through smaller incisions,
resulting in less blood loss, less pain and faster recovery periods.

Da Vinci robots are now in operation at Saint Mary's and Spectrum
Health. Faas expects Metro Health Hospital to have one in service during
the first quarter of 2008.

The Fox family contribution enables Metro to speed deployment of the
system by several months, Faas said.

He expects additional donations to cover the remainder of the
system's $1.6 million cost.

The Fox family gave the donations to the hospitals because we
can, Fox said.

The family also recently gave to the Grand Rapids Community Foun dation
for new offices on the south side of downtown and previously gave $1
million for Spectrum Health's Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

The philanthropy stems from the support Fox received in the community
for his business, Fox said.

It feels good to be able to make a difference, Fox said.
But we couldn't have done it if the community hadn't been so
good to us in the first place.

The Fox Jewelry Co. at one time had 48 stores in the Midwest, including
downtown Grand Rapids.

Tom Fox retired in 1990 and sold the business, returning in 2001 to
open the Thomas S. Fox Diamond Jewelers on 28th Street.
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