The Matsui family has given Natividad Foundation a $500,000 donation to bring an Infusion Center to Natividad. The gift is the largest single donation received from an individual or family donor in the foundation’s 30-year history.
The donation provides funding for Natividad’s equipment needed to compound chemotherapy medications and for building out space to provide infusion therapies for patients with cancer and chronic illness.
“Many of our employees and their families have received responsive, compassionate, quality care at Natividad,” said Teresa Matsui, president and CEO of Matsui Nursery. “Natividad is an institution that is accessed by a large portion of the community, and it deserves our support.”
The donation is made in honor of Matsui’s mother, Yasuko Matsui. Teresa Matsui, her sister and mother all are breast cancer survivors and positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation. The gene produces tumor-suppressing proteins, which increases the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. The genes can be inherited from a mother or father, and a child of a parent that carries a mutation for the gene has a one in two chance of being affected. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
“Under the best of circumstances, going through cancer treatment — whether surgery, radiation or chemotherapy — is a trying process,” Matsui said. “We were thrilled that our contribution could be used to facilitate the treatment process for cancer patients.”
Founded more than 50 years ago, Matsui Nursery is one of the world’s largest potted orchid growers and its live orchids are available throughout North America. Based in Salinas, Calif., the company employs 200 people in Monterey County with high-quality jobs.
“Through the sales of our orchids, we actively support organizations that serve and inspire people in the Salinas Valley and throughout Monterey County,” Matsui said. “We’ve been supporting education in a big way for many years. Equally important is the overall health of our community.”
Founded in 1988, Natividad Foundation is a nonprofit that provides philanthropic support for Natividad through its partnerships with foundations, individuals, businesses and government agencies. Owned and operated by the County of Monterey, Natividad is a 172-bed hospital that provides health care services to resident and visitors throughout Monterey County, including the vulnerable.
“The Matsui family’s generous donation allows our patients to receive local access to the care needed to treat their condition,” said Natividad Foundation’s President and CEO Jennifer Williams. “Their gift helps remove barriers — including lack of transportation, childcare and family and friends who are close enough to accompany them to appointments. When access to care is easier and closer to home, patients are more likely to get the medical treatments they need to improve and save their lives.”
Part of the Matsui family’s donation funds immediate updates to Natividad’s pharmacy to create a compounding room for infusion therapies, including chemotherapeutic agents and non-oncologic treatments. These medications are delivered as intravenous infusions and are used to treat cancer and chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and anemia. The donation also funds a four-room infusion center at the medical center that will allow infusion therapy to be delivered in a physician-supervised outpatient setting.
“Everyone needs to be able to get cancer screening tests, high-quality treatment for cancer and health care after cancer treatment,” said Natividad CEO Dr. Gary Gray. “The Matsui family’s gift is important because it provides the seed funding to get a project started that otherwise would not have been possible.”
Once the initial projects are complete, the remainder of the donation will support Natividad’s continued expansion of infusion and chemotherapy services, Gray said.
“Social issues are business issues and business people need to be social activists,” Matsui said. “People in our community are employees, they’re customers and they’re stakeholders. If we don’t have community, what does that mean for the future of our businesses?”
# # #
Located in Salinas, California, Natividad is a 172-bed hospital owned and operated by the County of Monterey, and offers inpatient, outpatient, emergency, diagnostic, and specialty health care. Natividad has provided health care services to Monterey County’s diverse population for more than 132 years.
Natividad Foundation was founded in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) to philanthropically support programs that improve the health of the community. Its partners fund critical programs, medical equipment, services and modernization projects to enhance Natividad’s health care services.