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$100 Million Gift for Packard Children’s Hospital Launches $500 Million Campaign for Children’s Health

PALO ALTO – – In a major investment in children’s health, the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health today is announcing a $500 million campaign on behalf of the Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and the pediatric research and training programs of the Stanford University School of Medicine.

A $100 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation launched the five-year campaign, believed to be the largest ever undertaken for a U.S. children’s hospital.

“An investment of this magnitude will have a profound impact on the health of children everywhere,” said Stephen Peeps, chairman and CEO of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. “The goals of our campaign are to ensure that Packard Children’s Hospital is able to provide the finest health care for any of Northern California’s children for generations to come, and to support rapid strides toward treatments and cures for diseases that have devastating effects on children and their families.”

The campaign announcement, originally scheduled for mid-September, was postponed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. “Even as alarming world events unfold around us, we believe it is more important than ever to move forward,” Peeps said. “The health needs of children continue.”

The Palo Alto-based Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, which is independent of both the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Packard Children’s Hospital, is a public charity founded in 1996, when the previously independent hospital merged with the Stanford Medical Center. One of the foundation’s primary roles is fundraising for the children’s hospital.

The $100 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation is believed to be the largest single grant ever given for a U.S. pediatric hospital. Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., launched a $250 million fundraising campaign in March – the biggest previously announced drive – with two individual $25 million donations as a base.

Centers of Excellence
The 10-year-old Packard Children’s Hospital currently averages 15,000 inpatient admissions and 100,000 outpatient clinic visits annually. Outpatient services offer primary care and 47 subspecialty clinics in areas such as diabetes, cardiology and cancer. More than 5,000 babies are born each year at Packard’s Johnson Center, which operates centers in hospitals throughout the area. The hospital serves all children of the region, without regard for their families’ financial circumstances. Packard Children’s Hospital evolved from the Children’s Hospital at Stanford, which was located nearby. The new hospital adjoins Stanford University Hospital.

A key goal of the campaign is the development of six “Centers of Excellence” in areas where Packard Children’s Hospital and Stanford’s pediatric research programs already have made breakthroughs and are poised for further advances. The six centers will focus on heart disease; brain and behavior; obstetrics and newborn care; transplantation and tissue engineering; cancer and blood disorders; and pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis. The aim of the centers is to foster interdisciplinary work that helps translate basic research more quickly into treatment for children.

Campaign funds will be used primarily to recruit and support leading physicians, surgeons and other medical staff; to foster basic research; and to train pediatric medical students. Other campaign goals are to continue providing health services for the community, particularly to uninsured and underinsured patients; to enhance patient services; to upgrade hospital facilities; and to maintain essential programs that make the hospital uniquely child- and family-friendly.

Challenge to the Community
The campaign has been in the planning stages for several years. About $310 million already has been committed toward the $500 million goal, including the inaugural grant, said Anne T. Bass, who co-chairs the campaign with Susan Packard Orr, daughter of Lucile Salter Packard.

“We are encouraged by the many generous donations we have received to date,” Bass said, “but there is a very long way to go. The hospital’s future depends on thousands of community members stepping forward and supporting our children’s hospital.”

As a challenge to the community, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation also has committed up to $200 million to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health to match every dollar it raises, thereby doubling the value of every contribution, Orr said.

“We hope to encourage people to find and give to specific programs in the hospital that they would like to support,” she said.

The $500 million goal will be reached through a combination of the $100 million inaugural grant, fundraising of $200 million by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, and the matching funds for each dollar raised.

Several key programs already have attracted donations:

  • A gift from Advanced Micro Devices allowed the completion of a CT/MRI imaging suite, the first in Northern California devoted exclusively to children and designed to accommodate their small bodies; Robert M. and Anne T. Bass will provide support for a comprehensive center dedicated to research and treatment of pediatric cancer and blood diseases; John Kriewall and Betsy Haehl have made possible a “palliative care” program that offers dedicated end-of-life care to children and their families when cure is no longer possible; and
  • Russell and Elizabeth Siegelman have provided endowment funds for three mobile medical clinics that allow Packard to bring care to uninsured children and adolescents throughout the Bay Area.

Hospital’s tenth anniversary
The campaign coincides with the tenth anniversary of the opening of Packard Children’s Hospital, and signals a push toward new levels of excellence, said Harvey Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., chief of staff at the hospital and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine.

“In our first 10 years, we have built a solid foundation,” Cohen said. “Our hospital already is known for its dedication to family-centered care. We are leaders in kidney and liver transplantation, newborn intensive care and childhood cancer treatment. Now, with the campaign, we are ready to build on our successes. No event since we opened our doors in 1991 has held such great promise to improve the lives of children, both now and in the future.”

Philip Pizzo, M.D., the new dean of the Stanford School of Medicine, said that the alliance of Packard Children’s Hospital and the School of Medicine with Stanford University and the Silicon Valley provides an unparalleled opportunity for breakthroughs in children’s health. Collaborations among physicians, basic medical researchers and university researchers in fields such as engineering and computer technology promise advanced treatments, he said.

Pizzo, a pediatric cancer specialist who most recently was physician-in-chief at Boston Children’s Hospital and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, also emphasized the crucial role of children’s hospitals in training pediatricians and pediatric specialists.

“I cannot overstate how critical it is that these unique hospitals can continue to exist,” he said.

Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Packard Children’s Hospital, noted that, like most hospitals, Packard faces a difficult economic market. “While we operate with a small positive margin, we continue to face major financial challenges,” he said. Packard Children’s Hospital’s $71 million endowment is far smaller than those of longer-established children’s hospitals. Boston Children’s Hospital, for example, has an endowment of more than $800 million, and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles has more than $300 million in endowment.

“Yet our plans to make advances in diagnosis and treatment require new and better facilities, the latest equipment, highly trained faculty and staff, and the best medical students,” Dawes said. “This will require extraordinary support from the philanthropic community.”