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The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation Receives a $5 Million Gift From Google Executive for Children's Hospital

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Following the unimaginable loss of their son Sebastian less than two years ago, Horst and Luisa Ferrero created the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation with a mission to improve child patient safety and develop a full-service children's hospital. Today the stars have aligned for the Foundation with two significant steps forward. The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, the University of Florida and Shands HealthCare have agreed to conduct an analysis of the attributes and resources of premier children's hospitals in a cooperative effort to achieve a level of patient safety and quality that is second to none in a full-service environment devoted to children. The Foundation has also just received a commitment for a $5 million gift--which represents significant progress toward the philanthropic support necessary to move this project closer to achieving its fundraising goal.

"Together we are working toward our shared goal of achieving the highest possible patient safety and quality in an environment dedicated to optimal care for children," said Dr. David Guzick, UF's senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System. "This generous gift represents a major milestone in the Foundation's efforts to realize that vision."

The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation has received a $5 million commitment from Mr. Craig Silverstein, a Gainesville native and son of physicians Drs. Burton and Janet Silverstein, both of Gainesville. "Growing up the child of two doctors, I understand the important role medical care plays in a community. The more I hear about this Project, and what it will bring to Gainesville, the more excited I am by it," said Silverstein, who became Google's first employee in 1998 and is now its Director of Technology. "Giving this gift to the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation will help advance its mission of creating a full-service Children's Hospital in partnership with Shands at UF, while ensuring the highest quality care for children in North Central Florida and beyond." Mr. Silverstein proposed this grant through his donor advised fund at Schwab Charitable Fund.

"This transformative gift coupled with all the charitable donations that have been made to date have brought us that much closer to achieving our mission while continuing to improve patient safety," said founder Horst Ferrero. "With our new executive director, Deborah Peeples, our upcoming annual fundraiser, Noche de Gala, and this significant grant, we have gained the momentum, leadership and resources necessary to move this initiative to the next level," said founder Horst Ferrero.

The Foundation's goal is to transform today's excellent pediatric care into the safest and most outstanding care provided within the warm environment of a dedicated children's hospital. Luisa Ferrero stressed that only with the continued philanthropic support of the broader community will the Foundation's goals be realized. "Every single dollar counts," said Ferrero. "Our children deserve the dedicated care only a children's hospital can offer."

About Sebastian Ferrero Foundation:

Horst and Luisa Ferrero created the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation in memory of their happy and healthy 3-year-old son, Sebastian, who died in October 2007 as a result of a series of preventable medical errors in Gainesville, Fla. The mission of the Foundation is: to advocate and fundraise for a state-of-the-art, full-service children's hospital in Gainesville, Florida while promoting excellence in patient safety and insuring that all families are treated with compassion, courtesy and dignity.

Since the Foundation's inception in 2007, the UF College of Medicine has incorporated new patient safety and quality elements into its curriculum and a "Condition H" urgent help line has been established in Shands at UF to provide patients and families with immediate access to a rapid response team. More recently, the Foundation provided the leadership to coalesce a group of local organizations to advocate for a dedicated pediatric ER at Shands. The new ER will include separate pediatric waiting and treatment areas. In 2008, the UF Center for Leadership and Service named the Foundation the "Most Outstanding Community Agency" and the Foundation also received the Institute of Safe Medication Practices' national "Cheers Award" for having set a superlative standard of excellence in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.

CONTACTS: Linda Michalisin or Ryan Frankel of Frankel Media Group for the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation +1-352-331-5558,

SOURCE Sebastian Ferrero Foundation
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