Now Reading
$20 million gift from Jon Peterson family follows earlier $10 million donation will aid cancer support program, ER expansion
Dark Light

$20 million gift from Jon Peterson family follows earlier $10 million donation will aid cancer support program, ER expansion

Inova Health System has received a $20 million gift from the Peterson Family Foundation, the family behind the Peterson Cos. real estate development firm, the Falls Church-based health system announced.

The gift will be split, with $15 million dedicated to the Inova Life with Cancer program and $5 million to the expansion of Inova Fairfax Hospital’s emergency room. The Life with Cancer program, which will be renamed Inova Peterson Life with Cancer, provides education and psychosocial support, including support groups, nutritional consultations and therapeutic and art counseling, for free to individuals impacted by cancer and their families. Peterson Cos.’ late founder, Milton V. Peterson, and his wife, Carolyn, helped create the Life with Cancer program in 1988. They founded their family foundation in 1997.

“We are deeply proud of the tremendous impact that Life with Cancer has had for the community over the past 36 years, and it means so much to our family to be able to support and help ensure its future impact as well,” Lauren Peterson, president of the Peterson Family Foundation and Milt and Carolyn Peterson’s daughter, said in a statement.

The privately held, Fairfax-based Peterson Cos. was founded in 1965 by Peterson, who died in 2021; it’s now led by his son, Jon Peterson, who became CEO in 2018 and is chairman of the executive committee. Peterson Cos.’ developments include National Harbor in Maryland, home to the MGM National Harbor casino resort; the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center; The Capital Wheel; and numerous other retail, office and residential developments. Peterson Cos. also developed Fairfax Corner, Fair Lakes, Burke Centre and Tysons McLean Office Park.

Inova Fairfax’s expanded emergency room will include more beds for patient privacy, an EmPATH (Emergency Psychiatry Assessment, Treatment and Healing) unit to provide acute behavioral health care and a dedicated entrance for pediatric emergencies. The first phase of the $161 million expansion will likely be completed by the end of this year, an Inova spokesperson told Virginia Business in March, when the health system announced it had received a $10 million planned gift commitment from Apex Systems co-founder Win Sheridan. The Fairfax emergency room is a Level 1 Trauma Center.

“We felt it was important to support the Inova Fairfax Emergency Room project, given the important role it plays in our entire community’s health,” Jon and William “Rick” Peterson said in a statement. Rick Peterson is Peterson Cos.’ chairman of the investment board, which oversees its non-real estate assets.

The Peterson family hosted the first Lobster Extravaganza fundraiser for Life with Cancer — an annual event that has now raised more than $20 million, according to a news release — in 1998 on the lawn of Milt and Carolyn’s home, and the family has continued to support the program.

Including this latest donation, the Peterson family has given more than $50 million to Inova over the past 30 years, according to a news release. In 2014, the family donated $10 million to Inova, the first eight-figure gift the health system received.

“We are deeply grateful to the Peterson family for building on their remarkable leadership and legacy with this latest transformational gift to support Life with Cancer and our much-needed renovation at our Inova Fairfax Emergency Room,” Inova President and CEO Dr. J. Stephen Jones said in a statement. “Their generous support has made a significant impact over the past three decades and will continue to impact our community for decades to come.”

Almost a year before the Peterson family’s donation, in May 2023, repeat donors Dwight and Martha Schar gave $75 million to Inova, bringing their total amount given to the health system since 1993 to more than $126 million. Dwight Schar is the retired founder of Reston-based Fortune 500 homebuilding and mortgage banking business NVR Inc.

Inova, a regional health system, has 24,000 employees across five hospitals and multiple other care facilities.

Jon M. Peterson is the Chief Executive Officer of Peterson Companies, one of the largest, most respected privately held real estate companies in the Washington DC area. Founded in 1965, the company is responsible for some of the most prominent and successful mixed-use retail, residential and office developments in Northern Virginia and Maryland including Fairfax Corner, Fair Lakes, National Harbor, Virginia Gateway, Downtown Silver Spring, RIO, Burke Centre and Tysons McLean Office Park. Most recently, Peterson Companies has expanded its portfolio to include significant industrial, data center, self-storage, and multi-family holdings.

In 2016, he assumed the role of Chairman of the Executive Committee which oversees all aspects of the retail, residential, commercial and mixed-use development and management. Prior to that, Jon served as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Business Development, which allowed him to develop close ties to the entire metropolitan real estate community.

Among the boards and committees Jon currently serves are GO Virginia (appointed by Governor Youngkin), George Mason University Board of Visitors (2020-2024 appointed by Governor Northam); the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP); NAIOP Northern Virginia; Youth for Tomorrow Board of Trustees; George Mason Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship; Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance; The 2030 Group; The 123 Club; George Mason University Patriot Club Advisory Board; George Mason Housing, Inc.; Inova Health Systems Investment Advisory Committee; Virginia Association for Commercial Real Estate; and Prince George’s County Roundtable Board. He served on the George Mason University Board of Visitors as Vice Rector and their Board of Trustees member from 2014-2018 (appointed by Governor McAuliffe), and was a Board member of Washington First Bank from 2014-2018.

Jon and the Peterson Family believe passionately in giving back to the communities they serve. Jon serves on numerous philanthropic boards and committees including Inova Hospital’s Life with Cancer, and Joe Gibbs’ Youth for Tomorrow.

© 2024 Lifestyles Magazine International. All Rights Reserved.