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July 2, 2012
Carolinas HealthCare System’s (CHS) Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) recently received almost $2.5 million in local funding to support pediatric cardiovascular services and the pediatric congenital heart program. These significant commitments came through the Partnership for Pediatric Hearts, a group of individuals and businesses dedicated to supporting pediatric care in the community. The Partnership was established earlier this year by an initial gift of $1 million from NASCAR and automotive business owner Rick Hendrick and his family.
Two additional $500,000 pledges – one from the Tansukh Ganatra Family and the other from the Dreamcatcher Society; a recent $300,000 pledge from Showmars in honor of their 30th anniversary in business; and a matching commitment from Carolinas HealthCare Foundation brings the total amount pledged for LCH cardiac programs to almost $5 million. Levine Children’s Hospital has also committed to invest substantial resources in this initiative.
Funding from the Partnership will support equipment and resources to help advance what is already one of the fastest growing programs at LCH. Just five years after opening, the hospital was recently ranked #33 by U.S. News & World Report for its cardiology and cardiac surgery program. LCH is the only facility in the region to provide pediatric open-heart surgery; a pediatric catheterization lab; heart transplant and heart assistance devices; and ECMO (heart-lung bypass).
“Our goal is to be the preeminent pediatric cardiovascular program in the Southeast,” said Benjamin Peeler, M.D., Chief of the Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Surgery Department at CHS. “We are grateful to the generous individuals and businesses for supporting our efforts to develop a surgical and cardiology program that encompasses all specialties. These donations help give our patients access to comprehensive congenital heart care right here in this region, eliminating the need to travel away from home. ”
Under Dr. Peeler’s leadership, LCH has become a national referral center, treating patients with the most complex heart conditions. He and his team have earned recognition for achieving survival rates that surpass national averages.
“Philanthropy often plays a key role in raising programs to be among the best in the country,” said Martha Whitecotton, President of LCH. “The investment by this Partnership will help place Levine Children’s Hospital among the nation’s elite healthcare providers.”
Partnership funding has initially been allocated to develop an in-hospital echocardiology lab with additional 3D echocardiography machine. It is also being directed to provide pilot funding for expanded subspecialty care, such as fetal echocardiography.
“The Partnership for Pediatric Hearts opens the door for more teamwork among organizations that are passionate about the cardiovascular health of children and young adults in our region,” said Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group and owner of NASCAR’s Hendrick Motorsports. “Levine Children’s Hospital is an incredible facility, but what’s even more impressive are the talented people it’s attracting to Charlotte. The best of the best from the medical profession are coming here, which means the highest possible level of care for children and families. The generosity of our community is what will continue to raise the bar and make that possible.”
Partnership member Showmars also shared its sentiments for the community: “For the past 30 years Showmars has experienced an astonishing amount of support and we are extremely grateful to our friends, family and community,”said the Showmars Team.” To celebrate our 30th anniversary we want to continue to give back to our community and we are honored to partner with the Levine Children’s Hospital.”
“The success of LCH has been the result of broad-based support from throughout our community by those dedicated to the health and well-being of our children,” said Michael Rose, President of the Carolinas HealthCare Foundation. “This Partnership clearly demonstrates that this commitment to excellence in pediatric healthcare remains strong in our community.”