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Children's Hospital Campus to be Renamed Thanks to Transformational Capital Gift

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- With the anticipated opening of a new facility in 2012 the Children's Hospital Campus will be renamed the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children. The announcement was made today as part of the public launch of a major capital campaign in support of the pediatric medical center's proposed expansion facility.

Ben and Luanne Russell have pledged $25 million in support of Children's Hospital. The gift, the largest in the history of Children's Hospital, is part of the $100 million "Keeping Promises" Capital Campaign to help build a new facility on the hospital's downtown Birmingham campus. The new facility and campus will be named for Mr. Russell's grandfather Benjamin Russell (1876-1941). Mr. Ben, as he was known to all, was the early patriarch of the Russell family and a legendary entrepreneur who began many of the businesses that later generations of the Russell family have grown over the years. The Russell family has provided jobs and economic prosperity for thousands of Alabamians and their work has enhanced the beauty of the State dramatically.

The announcement was made by Children's Health System CEO, Mike Warren. "Ben and Luanne Russell's magnificent act of generosity is made by an extraordinary family and great friends of Alabama's children and Children's Hospital," said Warren. "Generations of Alabama children will benefit immeasurably from the new facilities and technologies that this and other transformational gifts will provide."

Speaking on behalf of his family, Ben Russell, Chairman of the Board of Russell Lands, said: "Luanne and I have long supported children's activities in this State through Children's Harbor, Children's Harbor Family Center at Children's Hospital and through my work as a member of the Board of Trustees of Children's Hospital for the past 10 years. We are pleased to be able to honor the memory of my grandfather, Benjamin Russell, by making this leadership gift which will result in the Children's Hospital campus bearing his name. Mr. Ben did much for this State and its people. This gift is one way Luanne and I can recognize his contributions."

The name-change announcement was made after the regularly scheduled board meeting and in conjunction with the launching of the public phase of the Capital Campaign, which is set to raise $100 million in pledges as part of the hospital's celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2011. A sign was unveiled on the 5th Avenue side of Children's campus reading "Home of the Future Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children" and a 16x25 foot banner was dropped from the top of one of Children's buildings bearing the campaign theme "Keeping Promises."

Children's announced the proposed project earlier this year, which would be located on the block directly north of the current hospital and would incorporate its existing buildings and the Children's Harbor facility. The Children's Board of Trustees granted approval in January of this year to proceed with planning for a possible hospital facility expansion that would relieve crowding in the current building, help to accommodate projected growth in patient volumes, and allow for anticipated medical technology needs and planned consolidation of pediatric services.

Children's expansion facility is subject to the appropriate approvals inherent to all healthcare and government-related projects including the Certificate of Need process. The letter of intent is expected to be submitted in June, followed by the actual filing of the CON in July.

About Children's Hospital

The Children's Hospital of Alabama, the flagship of Children's Health System, is the only free-standing hospital in the state dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and one of the 10 busiest pediatric medical centers in the U.S. One of only about 45 freestanding acute care hospitals of its kind in the nation, Children's Hospital is home to Alabama's only Level I pediatric trauma center. Children's campus includes the largest pediatric burn center in the Southeast, one of the largest pediatric outpatient centers in the country and a leading pediatric hematology/oncology center and bone marrow transplant program. The hospital was recently recognized for the excellence of its nursing care by achieving Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Children's is the primary site for all pediatric medical education programs and patient care activities through an affiliation with the UAB School of Medicine and the Health Services Foundation. The Children's Hospital of Alabama is a private not-for-profit hospital governed by a volunteer board of trustees and will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2011. For more information, go to .

About Benjamin Russell

Benjamin Russell (1876 - 1941) was a pioneering entrepreneur and businessman who left his mark on the state of Alabama. He founded several businesses in central Alabama including a local bank, phone company and power company, all supporting his largest operation which would become textile and apparel giant, Russell Corporation. In 1963, the company's land business was separated from the textile operation, as Russell Lands, Inc. Today, his grandson, Ben Russell, is the Chairman and CEO of Russell Lands, which has significant land holdings in central Alabama including a large amount of shoreline frontage on Lake Martin. The company has developed residential real estate for over 25 years and has completed several upscale communities on Lake Martin. The company's other operations include several hundred lakeside rental homes, four full service marinas, six Russell Do it Centers and a Do it Express, three Russell Building Supply stores, two Russell Home Decor Centers, and a renewable energy business. Russell Lands also owns and operates Willow Point Golf and Country Club. For more information, go to .

SOURCE Children's Health System
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