Duddie Massad makes largest private donation in history of hospital 

January 18, 2005 

WORCESTER, Mass.-Wanting to "give back to friends and neighbors" in the community where he has been a business leader for more than sixty years, David "Duddie" Massad has bestowed upon UMass Memorial Medical Center a gift that will transform emergency health care in central New England: a $12.5 million donation to the charitable Emergency Care Campaign at UMass Memorial, which is integral to the construction of a new emergency department and trauma center at the UMass Memorial Medical Center-University Campus. 

From left to right: UMass Memorial President and CEO John O'Brien, Duddie Massad and UMass Medical School Chancellor and Dean Aaron Lazare   

From left to right: UMass Memorial President and CEO John O'Brien, Duddie Massad and UMass Medical School Chancellor and Dean Aaron Lazare   

Mr. Massad, chairman of Commerce Bank & Trust, former owner of Duddie Ford and several other dealerships, and a well-known businessman, developer and entrepreneur in the region, made the gift, saying, "I grew up in central Massachusetts, and this is a way of helping ensure that the next generation of friends and neighbors in this wonderful place have access to the best emergency health care in the world."

In acknowledging the generosity of Massad's gift, John G. O'Brien, President and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, noted the impact on the health care of the region.  "So many people depend on UMass Memorial for our advanced emergency and trauma services; this extraordinary donation-the largest gift UMass Memorial Medical Center has ever received-will mean that the people of central New England will have access to the health care they truly deserve."

In the fall of 2003, UMass Memorial broke ground for an ambitious and much-needed expansion of its emergency department on the University Campus as part of a 264,000-square-foot addition that will include new operating rooms, diagnostic facilities and intensive care beds.  O'Brien and Aaron Lazare, MD, chancellor and dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the hospital's academic partner, approached Massad to demonstrate to him the vital role the UMass Memorial emergency department serves in the community. UMass Memorial is home to the busiest trauma center in the region and sees more than 75,000 emergency visits per year on the University Campus alone, 28,000 of them pediatric, in a space designed in 1970 to serve up to 2,000 patients annually.

A native of Worcester, Massad immediately saw the need for an expanded center able not only to accommodate the vast number of patients seeking treatment, but also to provide the most state-of-the-art life-saving care available. He also recognized the importance of continuing to provide an exceptional teaching and training facility for medical students and residents in emergency medicine.

"The people of Worcester deserve to have the very best emergency care available when they need it, and where they need it, right here in the city," said Massad. "I'm proud to help make that a reality."

In gratitude for Massad's gift, the emergency department-scheduled to open in 2006-will be named the "Duddie Massad Emergency and Trauma Center."

Massad began his first automobile venture with a used-car lot in the 1940s; from there he built several successful domestic and foreign car dealerships and owned Duddie Ford before selling the dealership in 2003.  He continues to serve as president of Diamond Chevrolet Inc. of Worcester and Wallingford Toyota of Wallingford, Connecticut.  Particularly known for his contributions to the recovery and success of troubled businesses, in December 1993 Massad purchased Commerce Bank; since that time, Commerce Bank has increased its assets to $1.1 billion.  Massad currently serves as chairman of Commerce Bancshares Corp., the holding company of Commerce Bank & Trust Co.

"Since we began to talk to the people of central New England about the need for the emergency department expansion and how they could participate, we have been continually gratified by the outpouring of support for this mission," said Arthur M. Pappas, MD, chair of the Emergency Care Campaign and founding chair of orthopedics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  "Mr. Massad has made the leadership gift to our campaign that will, we are sure, inspire many others to support this project that is the single most important capital effort affecting health care in the community for the next decade."

"The hospital and medical school are fortunate to be part of a community in which successful business people like Duddie Massad who care for others," echoed Chancellor Lazare. "Mr. Massad has shown himself to be a true friend not only to these institutions, but to the thousands of Central Massachusetts residents who find themselves facing a medical emergency."

The emergency department expansion, facing Lake Quinsigamond on the east side of the University Campus, will more than triple the current space devoted to emergency services and will dramatically enhance the hospital's capacity to provide care to the people of the region.  Demand for emergency services in Central New England, and across the country, has grown exponentially in recent years.  UMass Memorial is home to the region's highest level trauma unit and Life Flight, the region's only air ambulance-and the busiest single-aircraft service in the country-and serves the most critically injured patients needing the most up-to-date, life-saving medical technology and equipment. 

Components of the project, which is expected to be complete in 2006, include: 

  • Addition of 264,000 square feet of clinical care space, including 69 treatment rooms, 10 new operating rooms and 16 new surgical intensive care unit beds
  • Reconfiguration of patient care areas for easier access
  • Renovation and expansion of cardiac catheterization laboratories
  • New emergency diagnostic capabilities, including on-site MRI
  • On-site laboratory capabilities for quicker testing and diagnosis 
  • Expansion of pediatric emergency care, with dedicated entrance, registration and waiting areas 
  • Expansion of emergency mental health services space
  • Reconfiguration of ambulance and Life Flight access, including new helipad
  • Reconfiguration of entrances, parking, and walkways, facilitating easier access

UMass Memorial Health Care is central Massachusetts' largest not-for-profit health care delivery system, with 1,500 physicians and more than 12,000 employees.  Led by President and CEO John G. O'Brien, its comprehensive network of care includes teaching hospitals, affiliated community hospitals, freestanding primary care practices, ambulatory outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hospice programs, a rehabilitation group and mental health services.   UMass Memorial Health Care is the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  For more information, visit

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