Hanson Family Contributes $1.5 Million to Heart Center
Oct 12, 2016 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – Lakeland Health is pleased to announce that Merlin and Carolyn Hanson, along with their family, have committed a $1.5 million lead gift toward the Hanson Heart Center – to be named in the family’s honor. The Hanson Heart Center will be located on the first floor of the new 260,000 square foot Lakeland Medical Center Pavilion which is slated to break ground on Wednesday, October 19.

“We thank the Hansons for their leadership and dedication to provide nationally-recognized heart care right here in southwest Michigan,” said Dan Hopp, Chairman of the Board, Lakeland Health. “Their gift paves the way for advancements in reducing the incidence of cardiac and vascular disease in our community and improving outcomes for those affected.”

Lifelong residents of the Michiana area, the Hanson family name is synonymous with integrity, ingenuity, and leadership. After more than 50 years of creating and leading several successful local companies, Merlin Hanson’s business acumen is highly regarded. He is Chairman of the Board of Hanson Group, the parent company for Hanson Logistics, Hanson Mold, Eagle Technologies, and Pure Fact Water.

“This gift is an effort to honor and give back some of our success to the people who’ve worked for us – and still work for us – as well as ‘for the good of all’, a motto our family has always strived to uphold in all we do,” said Merlin Hanson. “The Hanson Heart Center will help provide future generations with quality, compassionate care well into the future.”

“My father has really dedicated himself to being a community servant,” said Greg Hanson. “He's very concerned about the health of the community and where it's going. He is making his mark in terms of where it is today, where it should be, and where he wants it to be. He's been a big community advocate for the past 34 years.”

At the Heart Center, patients have access to a multidisciplinary cardiac and vascular team including board-certified cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, electrophysiologists, hospitalists, and radiologists, among others. The new facility will include state-of-the-art procedure and treatment rooms, a cardiac rehabilitation area, as well as nuclear medicine and stress testing exam rooms.

“Without the generosity of community leaders like the Hansons, people who call this area home would have a lesser quality of life and those truly in need would go without,” said Loren B. Hamel, MD, President & CEO, Lakeland Health. “Each year in southwest Michigan, and throughout the United States, cardiovascular diseases—such as coronary heart disease and stroke—top the list of the most serious health problems. As leaders in heart care, the Hanson Heart Center team will play a vital role in providing the best course of treatment in less time, with the hopes of saving valuable heart muscle and helping our friends and neighbors return to their normal daily activities as soon as possible.”                                

“Gifts like the one from the Hansons act as a springboard for the community to step in and get involved, knowing that this is a good thing for all of southwest Michigan,” said David Burghart, President, Lakeland Health Foundations. “This leadership gift will spark the philanthropic spirit of the community and people will rally with support.”

For more information about the Medical Center Pavilion, including an architectural animation of the new hospital, visit To learn more about how you can support the project, contact the Lakeland Health Foundations at (269) 927-5143 or visit

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