Shiley Donates $2.6 Million to CSU Institute for Palliative Care

CSU Institute for Palliative Care is now the Shiley CSU Institute for Palliative Care

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The CSU Institute for Palliative Care is now the Shiley CSU Institute for Palliative Care, thanks to another generous gift from prominent philanthropist Darlene Marcos Shiley.

Shiley announced during Cal State San Marcos’ annual fundraising gala on Saturday night that she has donated an additional $2.6 million to the Institute located on CSUSM’s campus. The latest gift brings Shiley’s total gifts to the CSUSM Foundation to $6 million, the majority of which has gone to the Institute, and makes her the most generous donor in the university’s history.

In recognition of her generosity, the CSU Board of Trustees approved changing the name of the Institute during its meeting on May 21 in Long Beach.

Shiley has a particular interest in palliative care that she developed as she cared for her husband, the renowned artificial heart valve inventor Donald Shiley, before he died of a difficult illness in 2010. Palliative care is health care that addresses each patient as a whole person, including his or her physical comfort, confidence, emotional well-being, spirituality and dignity.

“To have watched my late husband Donald decline over four years was truly devastating,” Shiley said.

“But we both personally experienced the benefits of palliative care during the period, and as I quickly learned, palliative care isn’t just for those who are afflicted. It’s also for the loved ones and caregivers of people dealing with serious or chronic illness”.

“The CSU Institute for Palliative Care is providing the necessary skills and tools that our health care professionals need while also building critical awareness of palliative care.”

Besides providing more support to the Institute, Shiley made the gift with the intention of paying tribute to her longtime friend, Dr. Karen Haynes, who is retiring at the end of June after 15½ years as CSUSM’s president. Shiley requested that the center be named the Shiley Haynes CSU Institute for Palliative Care, and CSUSM will pursue the name change after the requisite two-year period post-retirement for an individual who has served the CSU in an administrative capacity.

Haynes was the president when the Institute was launched in September 2012, becoming America’s first statewide educational and workforce development initiative dedicated to palliative care. A surprise $1.2 million gift from Shiley highlighted that event, along with a combined $1.2 million from the Archstone Foundation and the California Health Care Foundation. 

The Institute has steadily grown under Haynes’ leadership and thanks to Shiley’s philanthropy. In March 2015, Shiley gave an additional $1.8 million as part of CSUSM’s first comprehensive fundraising campaign, which ended last December. 

Through its nearly 150 educational offerings, the Institute has trained more than 11,500 health care professionals. On CSU campuses, it has introduced palliative care to more than 17,000 future health care professionals and more than 16,000 community members. 

“I am extremely grateful for President Haynes’ exceptional support of this important endeavor,” Shiley said. “As a professional social worker, she immediately understood the program content and collaboration required to make the Institute a success. I look forward to eventually seeing her name alongside mine and my late husband Donald’s at the Shiley Haynes CSU Institute for Palliative Care.”

Haynes said she was surprised when Shiley called her in April and told her that not only would she be donating an additional $2.6 million to the Institute, but also that she would be requesting to include Haynes’ name with hers on the title.

“It will be another transformational gift to allow the CSU Institute for Palliative Care to continue to be the national leader in educating the present and future workforce and the community, to assure that this important work that touches us all can continue, will expand, and will eventually help change health care delivery,” Haynes said.

Shiley is the president of the Shiley Foundation, a philanthropic organization that she established with her late husband to distribute all of their estate to charitable purposes after both pass. The San Diego resident supports a wide range of causes, including arts, higher education, community services and health and scientific research.

Shiley graduated from San Jose State with honors and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from San Diego State in 2008, as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Portland (Donald’s alma mater) in 2018. She serves on the University of San Diego Board of Trustees and the University of Portland Board of Regents.

About the Shiley CSU Institute for Palliative Care

The Shiley CSU Institute for Palliative Care leverages the strength of the California State University system to expand access to and awareness of palliative care by educating current and future healthcare professionals. The Institute is charged with positively impacting the critical shortage of nurses, physicians, social workers, and spiritual-care providers trained in palliative care, using a groundbreaking educational model that emphasizes a whole-person, patient-centered approach aimed at improving quality of life for people with serious or life-limiting illness. Visit csupalliativecare.org

About California State University San Marcos

Building on an innovative 29-year history, California State University San Marcos is a forward-focused institution, dedicated to preparing future leaders, building great communities and solving critical issues. Located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the City of San Marcos, it is the only public four-year comprehensive university serving North San Diego, Southwest Riverside and South Orange counties.

The University enrolls 17,000 students. With approximately 2,000 employees, the institution is a Great College to Work For® (The Chronicle of Higher Education). As a recipient of the annual HEED Award since 2014 — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — CSUSM is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment.

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