Hoag Hospital to establish leadership center with donation from Lyon family


Photo of William Lyon with construction machinery

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian established the General William Lyon Leadership Center after receiving a transformative gift from the family of the late real estate mogul William Lyon.

This center, on the Newport Beach campus, will provide a state-of-the-art space for collaboration between clinical and hospital leaders.

The generous gift was made by Lyon’s wife Willa Dean to honor the legacy of her namesake, who was also decorated for her 35 years of service in the military.

In addition to his long career as a Southern California real estate developer, General Lyon had a distinguished military career, which began in 1943 and culminated with his promotion to the rank of Major General and his service as a Chief of the Air Force Reserve from 1975 to 1979. A former command pilot who never lost his love of flying, Lyon was responsible for the activities of the US Air Force Reserve units in the world and is seen as the catalyst for upgrading the Air Force Reserve to active duty standards.

General Lyon has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal – with three oak clusters – and the Presidential Unit Citation.

General Lyon influenced the landscape of Southern California during his long career as a builder of quality homes and made significant contributions to the philanthropic and business community. He began building houses in 1954 after returning from active service during the Korean War. He ran a series of home construction companies, the most recent of which was William Lyon Homes Inc., based in Newport Beach.

During his career, which spanned more than six decades, Lyon was responsible for the construction of more than 100,000 homes, making him one of the largest home builders in the country.

General Lyon owned several aviation companies, co-founded the property management company Lyon Living, was founding chairman of the board of directors of the Commercial Bank of California and founded the Lyon Air Museum. He passed away in 2020.

“General Lyon left a transformative legacy in business and community causes that changed the lives of many. We are very grateful that its impact is also reaching Hoag, ”said Flynn A. Andrizzi, PhD, chairman of the Hoag Hospital Foundation. “This generous donation from his family will provide a space for all of Hoag’s leaders to consider, plan and lead together.”

The Leadership Center will serve as a focal point where Hoag’s executive, governance and medical leadership can come together. While these three highly effective leadership groups perform different functions, their commitment and ability to act together unleashes a level of excellence, quality and service to the community that is not commonly seen in today’s healthcare landscape. health.

Willa Dean Lyon and her son Bill H. Lyon participated in a demolition ceremony at the future site of the General William Lyon Leadership Center at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. / Photo credit Kevin Warn

The Lyon family sees the Leadership Center as a fitting tribute to a man who valued the pioneering spirit and the desire to shape the world for the better.

Willa Dean said she was proud to carry on her late husband’s legacy by establishing the Center.

“This center will align with what my husband valued. He knew the importance of being a forward-looking leader to improve the lives of others, ”she said. “Hoag’s doctors are also researching the next best treatment or procedure to help patients, and my wish is that this space inspires them while they do it. General Lyon’s son, Bill, echoed his mother’s sentiments: “It is important that health officials work together to find innovative solutions, and we hope this center is the place where great ideas come from. Hoag’s future is coming to fruition.

The General William Lyon Leadership Center will renovate and expand the current James Irvine Surgical Center at the main entrance to the Newport Beach campus. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.

The space will include board and conference rooms, executive offices and large open spaces for meetings. A part will be dedicated to Hoag’s doctors and leading doctors to find restoration and rejuvenation in their daily work. Spaces such as a lounge, a fitness room and rest areas will allow doctors to refresh and recharge their batteries in order to bring the best to their patients and their staff.

“As someone who has had the good fortune to know General Lyon and his authenticity, his relentless pursuit of excellence, his generosity and his personal charm, I cannot imagine anything better than seeing his name signify servant leadership. that Hoag’s governance embodies and reassures the community of our own commitment to its legacy, ”said Michael Brant-Zawadzki, MD, FACR, Ron & Sandi Simon, Executive Medical Director, Endowed President of the Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute.

“I had the honor of knowing General Lyon personally as a community leader and home builder,” said Daniel Young, who sits on the board of directors of the Hoag Hospital Foundation and chairs the board of directors. administration of Hoag. “He was a man of boundless energy, integrity and compassion. He saw a need in our community and gave his all to meet it. He was generous with his time, his money and his incredible connections. To have the name of such a great leader on our Leadership Center is a fitting tribute to him and an inspiration to all of us at Hoag.

Visit www.hoag.org for more information.


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