Hoag has announced a transformational $50 million gift that will establish the Richard H. Pickup Center for Brain Health, a powerhouse of innovation that will pioneer new, whole family-centered approaches to brain health and healthy aging.
Long-time Newport Beach philanthropist Richard Pickup has made numerous gifts to Hoag throughout the years, including a $15 million gift naming the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute in 2017.
This latest multi-year gift will revolutionize the advancement of brain health care and treatment for people in Orange County and beyond.
A cornerstone of the Richard H. Pickup Center for Brain Health will be the whole-family approach to prevention, early detection and care for cognitive impairment and mental health disorders, including consideration for the ways in which these disorders impact overall physical health, erode quality of life and greatly increase health care costs for patience and their families.
“Most dementia centers are focused almost entirely on clinical research and clinical trials. While research is of crucial importance – and something that we will continue to promote at Hoag – it is only part of the picture. Until we find a cure for dementia, we need to emphasize supporting patients and their families to adapt to the day-to-day impact of dementia,” said Aaron Ritter, M.D., Larkin Family Endowed Chair in Integrative Brain Health and director of the Memory & Cognitive Disorders Program at the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute. “Focusing on recognizing the treatable conditions that can cause cognitive impairment, we can slow if not reverse a person’s decline. This improves the quality of life for patients and their caregivers.”
Plans are being developed for a dedicated, expanded space on the lower campus of Hoag Newport Beach to house the Richard H. Pickup Center for Brain Health. With comprehensive services under one roof, the center will facilitate needed collaboration and be better positioned than any program in the country to provide an extensive treatment plan for patients and their families.
Demand for age-related health care is outpacing the supply nationwide. In Orange County, Alzheimer’s is expected to more than double by 2040. This “silver tsunami” is forcing increasing health care utilization, rising expenses and an explosion in unpaid caregiving – friends, family members and loved ones shouldering the burden and costs of care.
The 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report ranked Hoag one of the top 50 hospitals in Neurology and Neurosurgery. With the support of philanthropy, Hoag has provided resources to support at-risk individuals and their family members, delivering patient and physician education, tools for brain health screening, and early assessment of memory and cognitive impairment.
With attention to screenings, early detection, treatment and advancing technology and care, the Richard H. Pickup Center for Brain Health will further develop a unique model that follows patients at each leg of their health journey, constantly striving to enhance their quality of life.
The Pickup family’s enduring generosity will benefit generations of community members, said Flynn A. Andrizzi, Ph.D., president of Hoag Hospital Foundation. “The groundbreaking work done every day at Hoag is possible through the generosity of the community we serve. We are deeply grateful to Dick and his family for their extraordinary support.”
Like many of Hoag’s generous supporters, Mr. Pickup’s transformational gift for this center and the neurosciences in general was the result of his own family’s health history. Mr. Pickup’s brother lived with dementia before passing away.
“Hoag is making great strides in the understanding of brain health and Alzheimer’s disease. They are on the cutting edge, but there is still so much that is unknown about the brain,” Pickup said. “I trust that the passionate experts at Hoag will advance this area of medicine and give people, beyond Orange County, a place they can turn to and trust.”
Born and raised in Whittier, Pickup moved to Newport Beach in the 1960s where he became a successful stockbroker and personally invested in concentrated positions in small and midcap public companies. He was instrumental in facilitating his family’s acquisition of Balboa Bay Resort & Club and Newport Beach Country Club.
Mr. Pickup laid the foundation for his son, Todd Pickup, and son-in-law, Kevin Martin, to create Eagle Four Partners, a private equity firm specializing in hospitality, golf, and lifestyle residential real estate investments. Eagle Four, its affiliates, and partners are the owners of the newly-opened Pendry Newport Beach and VEA Newport Beach.
This gift will include support for attracting national experts, the creation of endowed chairs—honored distinctions that provide program funding to physicians—which will empower the center’s leaders to explore new treatment modalities and train the next generation of specialists.