Beebe Healthcare receives $6 million gift, second largest ever

Rehoboth campus renamed after Abessinio family
February 20, 2024

Beebe Healthcare has received its second largest philanthropic donation ever, a $6 million gift from the Rocco A. and Mary Abessinio Foundation.

In recognition of the gift, Beebe will rename its Rehoboth Health Campus as the Abessinio Health Campus.

“The money will be earmarked for future projects at that campus,” said Tom Protack, president of the Beebe Medical Foundation. “[The gift] will help us advance and grow our vision there.”

That campus is located near the intersection of John J. Williams Highway and Warrington Road.

“It is an honor for our family to support the expansion of this community-focused healthcare system in Sussex County,” said Rocco in a statement made through Beebe.

Rocco is a Wilmington native, and the founder of Applied Card Systems and Applied Bank. The Abessinios spend summers in Rehoboth Beach with their family.

Abessinio is no stranger to making large philanthropic donations. He gave $16 million to Salesianum School, his alma mater, part of which was used to build the football stadium that bears his name.

“To have the support and investment of the Abessinio family shows the trust they have in Beebe Healthcare and our strategic plan for the future,” Protack said. “It’s a big deal when a Wilmington family recognizes us.”

Protack put that gift in perspective with Beebe’s Sussex Supports Beebe Healthcare comprehensive campaign.

He said the previous goal of $22.5 million was surpassed last fall and reset to $30 million. The $6 million gift has now put them past that figure. He said they will be resetting the goal again in the near future.

“Philanthropy jump starts projects and helps dreams come true faster,” Protack said.

Beebe’s largest gift was a $10 million donation from the Rollins family in 2017. 

Protack said that money has been used to transform Beebe’s main campus on Savannah Road in Lewes, allowing for renovations to patient rooms, waiting areas and a lot more.

“We started our first residency program. Not a moneymaker, but important for the future. Philanthropy made that happen,” Protack said.

Protack said Beebe will hold a ceremony to publicly thank the Abessinios at the Abessinio Health Campus in early summer.


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