BU art

Milton Johnson and Denise Johnson

Belmont University has landed a $10 million gift for its future school of medicine.

According to a release, Milton Johnson — BU Board of Trustees chair, BU alumnus and retired HCA Healthcare chairman and CEO — and wife Denice Johnson are making the donation to benefit the future Thomas F. Frist Jr. College of Medicine and to honor Frist Jr., an HCA Healthcare co-founder.

Relatedly, the future building will offer the Milton and Denice Johnson Lobby. Construction is underway on Belmont’s campus, with the building to address Wedgewood Avenue.

The announcement of the gift follows Belmont University officials having announced in June a $2.15 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation (read here).

“Denice and I are overjoyed to make this gift in honor of my mentor — Tommy Frist — and the many decades he has dedicated to transforming healthcare,” Johnson said in the release. “Nashville celebrates its status as the nation’s healthcare capital today largely because of Tommy’s transformational work. He was also a leader of outstanding character. I’m eager to watch as the next generation of healthcare providers are trained at Belmont with a similar drive to serve and care for patients, families and communities.”

Belmont is establishing the college of medicine in collaboration with HCA Healthcare, which operates 187 hospitals in the U.S. and United Kingdom. For years, the organizations and their leadership have undertaken “significant partnerships to address healthcare challenges across the region, train excellent providers in a variety of disciplines,” the release notes.

The gift bolsters the Johnsons’ ongoing support of the university – including their 2015 creation of a $10 million endowment to support Belmont’s Bridges to Belmont initiative (read here). Earlier this month, the program announced an expansion, to 50 from 34 high-need students, involving 10 Metro high schools (read here).

Belmont President Greg Jones praised the Johnsons, noting their support will enable the university to provide its students “incredible opportunities to sculpt their futures and impact our world.”