Art Van Elslander gift creates endowed chair

A donation by the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation supported the creation of an endowment called the Shukri W. David, M.D. Art Van Elslander Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Services for Ascension Providence Hospital. The amount of the donation was not disclosed. The endowment gift came through the Ascension St. John and Providence Foundations, which coordinate fundraising for the local Ascension hospitals, entities and programs.

Annual interest income from the endowment will be used to advance cardiovascular services at Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield and Novi. Under the leadership of the endowed chair, funds will be used to invest in programs, facilities, equipment, research, staff recruitment and retention.

Mr. Van Elslander passed away in February 2018. At the time of this gift in 2017, he said, “It is truly rare to encounter a physician the caliber of Dr. Shukri David. His talent, compassion and commitment are without equal, and I am honored to call him not only my doctor, but also one of my closest friends. I can think of no one more deserving of this legacy than Dr. David.”

Dr. David is Chief of Cardiology at Ascension Providence Hospital and the system Chair of the Heart and Vascular Center of Excellence. He said, “I feel very fortunate to have had a friend as caring and compassionate as Mr. Van Elslander. His generosity has had a positive and lasting impact on our health system and our community. This endowment will strengthen our position as one of the leading providers of heart and vascular care in Michigan.”

Through personal and foundation gifts, Mr. Van Elslander was Ascension St. John and Providence Foundations' largest donor, with gifts totaling over $21 million. The largest gift created the Van Elslander Neuroscience Center of Excellence and the Van Elslander Surgical Innovation Center, located at Ascension Providence Hospital, Novi Campus. A donation to the Ascension St. John Hospital expansion campaign helped build the Van Elslander Pavilion patient tower, which added 144 private patient rooms and a new Heart & Circulatory Center and Diagnostic Imaging Center. Gifts also supported the creation of the Van Elslander Cancer Center and the expansion and renovation of the Mary Ann Van Elslander Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery at Ascension St. John Hospital.

“Through his generous support, Art Van Elslander has shown his commitment to our hospitals and programs for decades, and this gift is yet another example of that commitment,” said Jean Meyer, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ascension Michigan. “His generosity has helped to transform our hospitals, allowing us to create vital programs and services that enhance our ability to provide our patients with the highest quality care.”

About the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation

The A.A. Van Elslander Foundation was formed by Art Van Elslander, founder of Art Van Furniture, and provides support within its home community of the state of Michigan in the areas of health, children and human services.