An architectural highlight is the center's foyer, a sun-filled, multi-level atrium that greets visitors as they first walk into the facility.
Named the Dowd Pavilion — after benefactor Edward M. Dowd — the atrium is crowned with a two-tiered glass sculpture created specifically for the site by internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly.
Dowd, a local real estate investor and a patient with Camino Medical Group for 35 years, donated $4.1 million for upgrades to the atrium and for the art installation.
In an interview with the Voice, Dowd said his decision to donate to the organization was due in part to his close relationship with his physician, Philip Brosterhous, who is also CMG's medical director.
"I liked the guy. I maintain that doctors read the same text books, and know the same things, but some just take it to another level. He was just very human, and I enjoyed the interaction."
And as a 25-year Los Altos resident, Dowd felt that donating to CMG's new facility was enhancing the experience of those in his community.
When Dowd first heard about plans for the building, and of Brosterhous' appointment, he said he mailed CMG a check for $1,000.
Several phone calls later, the sum had changed. Significantly.
"I got a request to do something more, and I thought it was a good thing. So it went from a check for one thousand to four million," he said with a laugh.
Just over $1 million was designated for the art installation. Dowd said he was interested in giving something to CMG patients that could make the experience of visiting their doctor's office — often fraught with worry, as well as boredom — more enjoyable.
"What doctor's office isn't unappealing?" he asked. "I wanted more of an uplifting thing, something entertaining and relaxing."
The installation, called "Joyous," consists of 442 individual pieces of hand-blown glass mounted in two tiers. The entire piece is nearly 16 feet tall and 20 feet in diameter.
The intricacy and size of the installation, coupled with the way the light flowing through the atrium windows hits it, leaves a strong impact.
"I think it's stunning," Dowd said. "When you walk in, you have a chance to think more about the glass sculpture than your problems."
Dr. Richard Slavin, president of Camino Medical Group, wholeheartedly agreed: "The beautiful Chihuly sculpture is an uplifting contribution to our new medical care center, and is a great complement to our focus on supporting the well-being of our patients."
Dowd's other philanthropic interests include assisting people with disabilities, providing housing for the disabled and working with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to create outreach programs that enhance the quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis.
Dowd is a former member of the board of fellows of Santa Clara University, his alma mater, and he was vice chairman of the California State Athletic Commission, at the appointment of former Gov. Jerry Brown.
This story contains 549 words.
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