Max and Debra Ernst Heart Center Opening at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan

New gift amounts to $8 million of giving to Beaumont from Max and Debra Ernst


The new Max and Debra Ernst Heart Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak will open Sept. 30. It is dedicated to consolidating cardiac care, particularly for patients with heart failure, into a convenient and comprehensive area.


Through this $5 million gift, Orchard Lake residents Max and Debra Ernst increased their support to Beaumont heart and vascular care to a total of $8 million. In 2009, the couple also gave $3 million to open the Ernst Cardiovascular Center in Memory of Ellen Ernst.


The new center includes:

  • an advanced heart failure and cardiomyopathy clinic
  • an adult congenital heart disease clinic
  • an atrial fibrillation clinic
  • a cardiology genetic counseling clinic
  • noninvasive cardiovascular testing
  • adult and adolescent screening programs
  • dietitian services


“Through their incredible support to Beaumont for more than a decade, Max and Debra have demonstrated a commitment and desire to help others in our community. It has been an honor to work with them on this project,” said Dr. Marc Sakwa, chief, Cardiovascular Surgery, Beaumont, Royal Oak.


The 14,000-square-foot Max and Debra Ernst Heart Center is adjacent to the East Tower entrance of the hospital near the Ernst Cardiovascular Center. The new $9 million center not only combines outpatient heart services into one dedicated space; particularly those with heart failure, but also helps patients better manage their condition and reduce emergency center visits and hospital readmissions.


“Max and Debra’s generosity has helped us to create an amazing resource that will allow us to better serve our patients, especially those living with heart failure,” said Dr. Simon Dixon, chair, Cardiovascular Medicine, Beaumont, Royal Oak.


Across the nation, more than 1 million people are diagnosed with congestive heart failure each year, which may lead to poor quality of life and frequent hospitalizations for advanced care. Heart failure is also the leading cause of hospitalization for people 65 and older.


Board-certified cardiologists, advanced practice providers, trained cardiac nurses, social workers and dietitians will provide medication monitoring, heart failure management and progressive therapies to not only improve symptoms, but also enhance quality of life. These services will be delivered with compassionate and specialized patient and family-centered care, in a convenient and easily accessible location for patients requiring more support.


“When we gave our gift in 2009, we told everyone if we saved one life, it would be worth it. We are confident the Beaumont cardiovascular team has provided excellent care and saved many lives,” Max Ernst said. “My gratitude for the success the heart team has achieved led my wife and me to provide additional support for their vision.”


The first Ernst multidisciplinary center offers innovative, collaborative approaches for the treatment of complex heart and vascular conditions, in addition to preventative heart screenings. The success of the first Ernst center created the need for expansion. Since the center opened in 2010, specialists have cared for more than 30,000 patients. It has become one of the nation’s premier programs for structural heart and valve disease and cardiac surgery. 


Margaret Cooney Casey, Beaumont Health senior vice president and chief development officer, added, “Max and Debra Ernst’s continued generosity and vision is both remarkable and admirable. We are sincerely grateful for their support. Their gift will save lives and help thousands of patients and their families.”


Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) is the architect and engineer for the project. Kasco is the construction manager.


Beaumont Health

Beaumont Health is Michigan’s largest health care system and is most preferred for health care in Southeast Michigan, according to NRC Health survey data. The not-for-profit organization was created to provide patients with greater access to compassionate, extraordinary care, every day. Beaumont Health has a total net revenue of $4.7 billion and consists of eight hospitals with 3,429 beds, 145 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians, 38,000 employees and 3,500 volunteers. In 2018, Beaumont Health had about 178,000 inpatient discharges, 18,000 births and 573,000 emergency visits. For more information, visit