Mike Stone - Philanthropy Feeds Key Advancements in Healthcare

Mike Stone - Philanthropy Feeds Key Advancements in Healthcare


Many in the North Bay know Mike Stone as the founder of their favorite grocery store, Mollie Stone’s. But here at MarinHealth, we also know Mike as a neighbor, a friend, and a dedicated supporter of our Healing Place. Over the years, his generosity has benefited our Stroke Center, Emergency and Trauma Services, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular Services, Cancer Services, Nursing Education and other departments. He has inspired other donors to give as well. In fact, as the co-chair of our Capital Campaign, he helped raise more than $66 million dollars for our new hospital. He’s currently on the board of MarinHealth Foundation. And the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired Mike to take on yet another role: Lifesaver.

COVID-19 has proven to be extremely contagious. That makes it essential to triage potential patients in a negative pressure environment to contain the germs and separate these patients for everyone’s safety. Negative air pressure helps prevent airborne diseases such as COVID-19 from escaping a closed space and infecting other people. We urgently needed additional negative air pressure resources to prepare for the projected surge in COVID-19 cases.

Hearing about this urgent unbudgeted, medical need, Mike immediately stepped up to fund the entire cost of not one, but TWO negative air pressure tents—a total gift of $180,000! One tent is a low-acuity tent to test and treat people with mild COVID-19 symptoms. The other tent is higher acuity, for treating sicker individuals who need medications or other interventions before they can be discharged. Thanks to Mike’s generosity, we can test and treat COVID-19 patients in a safe, contained space, and help protect the wellbeing of our patients, and staff.

Mike feels strongly about giving, saying, "There is no greater need during one's lifetime than to support our community, and our county, by supporting our community hospital. If I can make a difference in one persons' life, what greater gift is there?"

Of course, that was only the beginning. Mike also felt the need to do something for our medical teams working long hours on the front line and behind the scenes during the pandemic. For several weeks, his team fed our clinicians and staff delicious box lunches from Mollie Stone’s. In Mollie Stone’s Markets, shoppers are encouraged to donate to support MarinHealth programs, and when the store gets busy, healthcare workers and first responders have a special entrance.

Out of concern for the safety of his employees and our community, Mike has imposed strict safety measures at his stores. Every employee is monitored for fever when they come to work, before they enter the store. Mollie Stone’s workers were already wearing masks and gloves even before it was mandated by the state. Our MarinHealth team helped Mike set up a dedicated COVID-19 phone line for Mollie Stone’s employees, and we provide them with same-day telehealth appointments, if needed.

To help protect his customers, Mike has his stores disinfected both after hours and regularly throughout the day. Social distancing is strictly enforced and customers who arrive without a mask or gloves are given them. The stores are only taking credit or digital payments to limit the transfer of cash. And seniors and people with compromised immune systems can enter the store at special times to avoid crowds.

At MarinHealth, the health and safety of the people we serve is our top priority. We depend on support from the community and philanthropists to help us make key advancements in facilities, technology, and services above and beyond the operating budget. Chief Development Officer, Liz Kolcun explains, “For the past ten years philanthropy has significantly advanced nearly ever program at our community hospital including the building of our brand new buildings – and Mike Stone has played a monumental role throughout it all. He has set the bar as a Board member, lead donor and champion for healthcare in this community. Ensuring the very best care for the Marin community is the priority and donor support like Mike’s has made that possible. Now more than ever, we depend on MarinHealth to care for us in times of need, and we rely on our donors to help accomplish that mission.”

Mike Stone has been a powerful ally in our efforts to provide the North Bay with the best possible care. His boundless generosity had been instrumental in helping our teams improve, extend, and yes, save lives, right here in the North Bay. Mike Stone has truly made his mark on our healing place, and our community. And we are grateful.

This story was first published in June, 2020.