When Craig Hospital patients are nearing discharge, they move from Craig's West Building to the East Building. In the East Building, patients are expected to take on a majority of their personal care activities, relying less on the support of nurses and technicians. This ensures that patients and their families are equipped with the knowledge and skills they will need when they return home.
"Crossing the bridge" both literally and figuratively signifies a return to independence.
It's fitting then, that the Craig bridge was formally renamed the Liniger Bridge to Independence at a very special donor celebration on August 13.
The bridge was named in honor of Dave the Gail Liniger, major Craig benefactors and graduates. Both Dave and Gail were patients at Craig, 28 years apart. Gail rehabilitated in 1984 following an injury sustained in a plane crash. Dave was an inpatient at Craig in 2012, learning to walk again following a staph infection that left him paralyzed.
Dave and Gail donated $10 million to the Redefining ROI Capital campaign in 2012, and, in a surprise announcement on the 13th, pledged an additional $4 million to the expansion and renovation project.
“It’s an extraordinary honor because independence is freedom, independence is a chance to recapture what you were before you were injured.” said Dave Liniger at the event. “We are so thrilled and so thankful for what everybody at Craig has done for Gail and I. There are no words to explain it, we have a quality of life we never thought we’d get back.”
Event attendees enjoyed tours of the completed areas of Craig's $90 million renovation and expansion project. Work continues to renovate the remainder of the West building, which will include the chapel, pharmacy and procedure suite, outpatient clinic, outpatient therapy gym and café and gift shop.
The Craig Hospital Foundation is raising $50 million for the capital project. With the Liniger's most recent commitment, the total raised comes to $47.4 million.
Also at the event, Craig graduate Matt Wiener and his wife Madeline shared their story. Matt sustained a spinal cord injury in a surfing accident in 2009. He was a patient at Craig Hospital for 60 days in 2010. Craig recently unveiled a new sculpture at the hospital's newly renovated front entrance, created by Madeline, a renowned sculptor. The marble piece depicts a woman helping a man to rise.
She says the teamwork depicted in the sculpture between the staff and patient is an important message, "'Redefining Possible' is what the staff does every single day there, so it was natural to design a sculpture that showed the tender and determined strength of the staff and the willingness of the patient."
The August 13th event and related fundraising efforts raised more than $6.1 million for the Redefining ROI Capital Campaign. The Foundation still needs $1.6 million to reach the $50 million fundraising goal.
Follow the construction progress or learn more about how you can be involved at the campaign web page.
For an in-depth tour of Craig Hospital, including the newly-completed areas of the expansion project, contact the Craig Hospital Foundation at (303) 789-8650.