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Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago Announces $100 Million Gift from Philanthropist Ann Lurie

Gift is largest by an individual to a children's hospital nationally

CHICAGO, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Children's Memorial Hospital announced today that philanthropist Ann Lurie has pledged $100 million to help fund the new facility planned for Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. This gift is the largest given by an individual to a children's hospital in the United States.

The $100 million gift, the largest charitable investment received in the hospital's 125-year history, will be used to help create the new hospital in Chicago's Streeterville community and to enhance its pediatric research initiatives.

"This is a historic day for children's health and for the city of Chicago," said J. Christopher Reyes, chairman of the board of directors of Children's Memorial Medical Center.

"Ann Lurie is a true philanthropist and an advocate for the health and well-being of children. This gift will transform Children's Memorial Hospital and the care that we are able to provide to children and families," said Patrick M. Magoon, president and CEO of Children's Memorial Medical Center. "This landmark investment in children's health will enable our community to better provide every child with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential."

"Medicine is evolving so rapidly. To capture some of the value of new innovations and technology, Children's Memorial requires an updated clinical facility with space for upgraded equipment and services," said Ann Lurie. "It is my hope that this gift will help Children's Memorial Hospital leverage its strengths and combine its expertise with its affiliated entities, including Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, to provide state-of-the-art care for infants and children in Chicago, the Midwest and beyond for many years to come."

The new hospital will be located between Chicago Avenue and Superior Street, east of Michigan Avenue and just west of Northwestern Memorial Hospital's new Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago's Streeterville community. Subject to government approval, groundbreaking is scheduled for the spring of 2008 and the new hospital is scheduled to open in 2012.

Ms. Lurie resides in Chicago where she is president of Lurie Investments, president and treasurer of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation and president of Africa Infectious Disease Village Clinics, Inc., a U.S.-based charity. Following the death of her husband Robert H. Lurie in 1990, Ms. Lurie devoted herself to raising their six children, while distinguishing herself as a committed and knowledgeable benefactor to a number of important causes in healthcare, education, social services and the arts.

Ms. Lurie, who was once a critical care nurse at Children's Memorial, said that her personal experiences as both an employee and as a parent of six children -- several of whom were treated at Children's Memorial -- influenced her decision to make the gift.

"I hope that this gift will both provide critical funding for the new hospital and serve as an inspiration for others to make a commitment and give as they are able," she added. "Our future depends on our children and the generations of children after them. I feel that we have an obligation to be supportive of advances in pediatric medical care that will ensure the health of those children."

When the new hospital opens in 2012, it will be called Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago in recognition of this gift that truly will make a difference for the children of Chicago, the Midwest and beyond.

Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, is recognized as one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country in rankings published in U.S. News & World Report. The American Nurses Credentialing Center recognized Children's Memorial as the first hospital in the state of Illinois -- and the first pediatric hospital in the nation -- to receive its prestigious Nursing Excellence Magnet Award. As the pediatric educational facility of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Children's Memorial's physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists in addition to providing care for more than 103,000 patients and their families annually. As a not-for-profit organization, philanthropy to the hospital is key to providing quality care to children and their families each day of every year.

SOURCE Children's Memorial Hospital
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