History was made Friday as the Eisenhower Health Center at Plaza del Sol in Palm Springs was renamed as the Eisenhower Alan Brimble and Richard Lyle Jones Health Center. It is the first time the hospital has honored a gay couple in that way.
The two philanthropists have been generous donors to Eisenhower Health over the years. Brimble and Jones are Eisenhower Ambassadors, meaning they have made donations at or above $1 million.
Most recently, the two have dedicated their home in Rancho Mirage to the hospital through a life estate. Their home is an unrestricted gift and will go toward “the greatest need,” said Wendy Beerbower, Eisenhower Health Foundation senior vice president.
They also have funded a new position at the newly renamed clinic for a nurse practitioner. The health center is special to Brimble and Jones since that is where they go to see their primary care physician, Dr. Michael Hughes.
Dr. Euthym Kontaxis, medical director of Eisenhower’s Tennity Emergency Department, said the couple’s donation toward primary care will help the hospital “fortify prevention and wellness in the community” and keep people out of emergency rooms.
The newly renamed health center, located at 1555 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Building C, is one of five Eisenhower clinics located in Palm Springs that provide primary care, women’s health, mental health services and other health care needs.
The pair recently celebrated its 50th anniversary in February — although Jones said they were so busy that they “didn’t really do much” aside from having lunch with a small group of people. But Friday’s ceremony was “a nice way for us to remember it,” Jones said.
Brimble added: “We are very glad that we’re able to do this for Eisenhower, and we’re also very flattered that so many of our friends have come to this event. It’s very heartwarming.”
Brimble, a former chief financial officer, and Jones, a former orthodontist, retired in 1988 and moved to the San Diego area. They have lived in the Coachella Valley for the past 17 years.
Beerbower said she considers the two family. Once a quarter, she joins them in their home, where they talk about the events of the days, movies and history, but the couple’s main focus is to talk about charitable giving.
“They want to tell me about the gifts that they have given in the past and why, they want to tell me about the organizations that they support and the gifts that they plan for the future,” Beerbower said.
Speaking to a crowd gathered outside the health center, Beerbower thanked the couple for their “extraordinary generosity” and said they are “a gift to me personally.”
Being able to support the hospital’s various services and programs is “the best money we’ve ever spent,” said Brimble.
“They take care of you like you wouldn’t believe,” he added.
The next time they pass by the center and see their names on the building, Jones said it will be “totally surreal.”
The renaming also comes days after the Rancho Mirage hospital received an evaluation of 95 out of 100 and the designation of an “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index. The index surveys health care facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees.
Ema Sasic covers health in the Coachella Valley. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @ema_sasic.