Dr. John Koza, a grateful Sequoia Hospital patient,  made his first contribution to the Sequoia Hospital Foundation in 2012 – a $50,000 gift naming cardiac surgeon Luis Castro, M.D. his Guardian Angel.  Dr. Koza is the co-inventor of the rub-off instant lottery ticket used by state lotteries, a former consulting professor at Stanford University and inventor of genetic programming. In the 1980’s, he was active in promoting adoption of lotteries by various states through the citizen-initiative process and state legislative action. Today his efforts focus largely on a state-by-state effort to revamp the Electoral College in the United States.

Over the coming year, Dr. Koza and Suzie Sheedy, Sequoia’s Manager of Major Gifts and Donor Relations kept in close contact.  Koza, Sheedy, Castro, Dr. Adam Harmon, Dr. Taemin Suhr and Julie Biglieri, Sequoia’s Director of Cardiovascular Services communicated regularly about the future of Sequoia Hospital and our cardiac programs.  In July 2013 the group toured the construction of Sequoia Hospital’s New Pavilion. It was the first time in the new building for both the physicians and Dr. Koza and they shared a mutual excitement.  Inspired by the physicians’ vision and what he saw in Sequoia’s immediate future, Dr. Koza made a second $50,000 gift to Foundation.

Shortly thereafter Dr. Koza, intrigued by a $2.5 million matching challenge from Mr. Lorry Lokey, inquired about planned giving options that would be eligible for the match. In January of 2014, Dr. Koza made a nearly $1 million gift via a Charitable Remainder Unitrust with Sequoia Hospital as the beneficiary. This gift helped us close the Foundation’s Capital Campaign for the New Sequoia Hospital.