Thank You, John and Doris Norton!

John and Doris Norton, benefactors of St. Joseph's Foundation.John and Doris Norton’s historic $19-million gift to St. Joseph’s Foundation reflects the couple’s long commitment to Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center— and their belief in the potential of the hospital’s thriving thoracic services. 

“We were compelled by the vision of Dr. Bremner to contribute to the expansion of lung and thoracic services and research at St. Joseph’s,” said John. “The new institute will quickly take its place among the few truly elite medical centers of its kind anywhere.”

The Nortons’ history with St. Joseph’s stretches back to John’s birth at the hospital in 1929. Seven years later, the young Norton was raced back to the hospital for a dramatic emergency tracheotomy, which saved his life during a deadly bout with strep throat. The couple birthed their two sons and daughter at St. Joseph’s, and, in true family tradition, their grandchildren were born there as well.

“St. Joseph’s is dear to my heart, and we’re proud to be part of St. Joseph’s family,” said John, who has served on the Barrow Neurological Foundation Board of Trustees and the St. Joseph’s Foundation Board of Directors.

“We are blessed to be able to help the hospital and its foundations,” added Doris, who has been a member of the Barrow Women’s Board since 1988.

The Nortons are longtime community benefactors, supporting not only St. Joseph’s and Barrow but also the University of Arizona, the Phoenix Art Museum and other Arizona nonprofits.

In 2006, they gifted $1 million to St. Joseph’s Foundation for the creation of the John and Doris Norton Healing Garden—a one-acre outdoor sanctuary with walking paths, colorful artwork, sculptures, water features, flowers and other desert plants—built in the shadow of the Barrow Neuroscience Tower. In 2011, the couple contributed what was then the largest gift ever made to St. Joseph’s Foundation—$4 million to establish the Doris Norton Scholars program, providing scholarships for third- and fourth-year students in the Creighton University School of Medicine at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The following year, they contributed another $1.3 million to renovate a building on the St. Joseph’s-Creighton campus for administrative offices, a student lounge and gym.

The Nortons said they are excited about the future of Norton Thoracic Institute.

“With this gift we are able to put this project into motion, but our gift is just the beginning,” said John. “We have planted the seed and now invite the community to become actively involved in growing this center into a world-class institute.”

Listen to Dr. Ross Bremner, director of the Norton Thoracic Institute, discuss how the Norton gift was instrumental in building a world-class program for lung, heart and esophageal disease services at St. Joseph's.