Hospital leaders unveiled the creation of the Jonathan R. Bates, MD Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.
The endowment already has $3 million designated toward the project.
Bates took over the hospital in 1993 and has pushed to make the hospital more attractive and improve patients' experience. Leaders say the endowment will continue that.
"I'm still trying to wrap my head around this. I actually spent a lot of time selling these chairs to people. We had two when I came and now we have over thirty. These chairs help you get people and keep people, and it makes a big difference in the institution," Bates said.
Bates' last day is June 30. A search firm is working with the hospital to replace him.