Target CEO and Wife Donate $10M to Help Build Mental Health Facility

State-of-the-art pavilion will take centralized approach to providing convenient, comprehensive care
Bridget Goldschmidt
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Target CEO and Wife Donate $10M to Help Build Mental Health Facility Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion
Martha and Brian Cornell

Target Corp. Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell and his wife, Martha Cornell, are donating $10 million to support the creation of a new Sarasota Memorial Health Care System behavioral health facility, in Sarasota, Fla. The donation will help fund comprehensive mental health services at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and other continuing crises have further spotlighted the need to address anxiety, depression and other mental health issues among the populace.

I have the privilege of leading a team of more than 350,000 people, and have seen firsthand the power of creating a culture that is built on care, prioritizes mental health and wellbeing, and provides resources, space and support for all families,” said Brian Cornell. “I’ve also recognized the importance of humanizing this topic – eliminating the stigma that discourages some from seeking the support they need, while increasing access to care that places people at the center. I hope this project shines much-needed light on the importance of comprehensive behavioral health care, and spurs others to support this project and others like it across the country.”

“We’re proud to play a role in the creation of this state-of-the-art behavioral health pavilion, whose centralized approach fills an immense need by providing convenient, comprehensive care under one roof,” noted Martha Cornell. “We know it will change countless lives in Sarasota, a community that has been dear to our family for years, and we hope it inspires change all across the country.”

In recognition of the donation, the new facility will be named the Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion, according to Sarasota Memorial Health Care System President and CEO David Verinder and Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation President Mason Ayres. 

Scheduled to begin construction early in 2022, the $65 million, 95,000-square-foot pavilion will replace Sarasota Memorial’s 1970s-era behavioral health hospital with a modern facility that enhances, expands and centralizes care for people of all ages with mental and behavioral health challenges.

“When someone is going through a crisis, it can be frightening to go into a facility that looks old and institutional,” said Verinder. “The Cornells’ gift will help transform that experience, ensuring the people of our community have a warm, welcoming place where they can feel safe and get help through what may be the most difficult days of their lives.”

The three-story facility will be built on the hospital's Sarasota campus, with four inpatient units to serve different patient populations: a 16-bed geriatric unit, 22-bed child and adolescent unit, a 24-bed adult unit and a 22-bed acute care unit. Each unit will have private rooms with large windows providing natural light, and other design elements that help alleviate stress and promote recovery. The first floor will feature therapeutic spaces dedicated to the health system's growing outpatient treatment and counseling programs.

“Fortunately, the pandemic has moved more people to talk publicly about their personal challenges, which has encouraged others to get the help they need,” Ayres said. “We are deeply grateful to the Cornells for this generous and life-changing gift. Their passion and vision for this project will touch many in our community who are affected by mental health issues.”

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. is No. 6 on The PG100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, with nearly 1,900 locations. 

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