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Knight, wife donate $125 million to OHSU heart program

Nike co-founder and Chairman Phil Knight and his wife Penny gave $125 million Monday to Oregon Health and Science University to advance OHSU’s programs in cardiovascular medicine and research.

It was the largest gift in OHSU history, and may likely be the largest private contribution ever made by living donors to benefit a single Oregon organization. It is the Knights’ second landmark gift to OHSU, following a 2008 pledge of $100 million that advanced the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.

OHSU leaders said the gift would establish the OHSU Cardiovascular Institute, an integrated center for translational research, clinical care, professional training and outreach in all aspects of heart and vascular disease. The institute’s mission is to accelerate new prevention, diagnostic and treatment strategies being developed in the laboratory and transition them into patient care clinics as rapidly as possible.

“Phil and Penny Knight have made a gift to all Oregonians,” said OHSU President Joe Robertson.

“With this gift, together with their historic support of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, the Knights are changing the game against the two deadliest and most intractable public health problems of our time. We are grateful for this opportunity to team up with these incredible champions of human health,” said Constance French, interim president of the OHSU Foundation.