A bequest from the estate of prominent Rhode Islander John Nicholas Brown was the seed that, combined with a generous gift from Cyrus Butler matched by a giving community, gave birth to Butler Hospital. Rhode Island’s first hospital, Butler opened its doors on December 1, 1847 following seven years of planning and fundraising. The 100,000 square foot hospital was built on a 114 acre tract of land called the Grotto Farm.
The forethought and generosity of Butler’s founders in establishing the hospital’s first endowment in the 1800s enabled Butler to serve as a safe haven for people throughout the region at a time when little was understood about illnesses of the brain. And throughout the last 160 years, the endowment, which has grown to $16 million, permitted the hospital to remain true to its mission, while developing into a major training and research center.
Today, the hospital is a center of excellence where advances in brain science are made every day. Research at Butler, enhanced by brain imaging technology, has brought about new information on brain function and disease. This knowledge is bringing together psychiatrists, psychologists, neurosurgeons, and neurologists to collaborate on a single goal of improving brain health.
Thanks to their vision and expertise, success stories like that of Pat Boyd’s are now possible. Similar stories of new, cutting-edge treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), addictions, and other major illnesses can also be told. The future holds even more promise.
To ensure that Butler Hospital remains at the forefront of brain science, the Trustees and leaders of the hospital have followed in the footsteps of our founding donors and have seeded a new endowment for research.
Revenue from the Research Endowment will help fund new computer labs, increase access to the latest brain imaging technology, and provide pilot funding to clinicians and researchers at Butler so that they may pretest their theories, giving them a competitive edge when applying for the limited federal grant funding available. The Research Endowment will also enable Butler to recruit the up-and-coming researchers who will make the discoveries of tomorrow.
We invite you to be a part of this exciting time for Butler and brain health, and we ask for your support in raising $1.2 million dollars to seed an endowment that will continue to grow for years to come.
Just as our founding donors could not have predicted the extent to which their generosity would create positive changes in people’s lives 160 years later, the hope and promise we hold for brain health that will result from the new Research Endowment is greater, perhaps, that we can even imagine.