Beverly Hills philanthropist and theatre producer Vera Guerin has made the single largest donation in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s 100-year history, according to the nonprofit hospital.
With more than 6,200 babies delivered each year, Cedars-Sinai is no stranger to children’s medical care. Now it will be improving and expanding its facilities with a $100 million donation from the Shapell Guerin Family Foundation to create Cedars- Sinai Guerin Children’s.
One of the key goals of the new children’s facility will be to bridge the gap between childhood and adult health care, offering continued services from infancy through adulthood, hospital staff said.
“That’s a big plus for the care these patients will receive,” Cedars-Sinai’s manager of broadcast news told the Courier in an email. “Guerin Children’s will provide extra support for parents, including sleeping arrangements in the hospital rooms so that the adults can be with their children as much as possible.”
The Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s facility will provide clinical services for young patients and will be a center for medical research and training.
Guerin is board chair of the Cedars-Sinai Health System and has been a longtime supporter of the hospital.
“Our family is passionate about Cedars-Sinai and about providing a continuum of care for patients from childhood to adulthood,” Guerin said in a statement. “We are honored and humbled to play our part in supporting and building this incredible institution.”
Renovation of a 26-bed children’s facility has already begun and is expected to be completed in spring 2022. It will include a movie screening room and video games with interactive screens, an outdoor garden and art by local artists. It will also include a family lounge for adults with furniture that converts into beds for family staying with hospitalized children.
The new center will be able to provide patients with highly specialized medical care, including pediatric specialties, maternal-fetal medicine and pediatric surgery and transplants. Physicians there will also treat any number of conditions with support from Cedars-Sinai’s programs in cardiology, cancer, gastroenterology, orthopedics, obstetrics, pulmonology, rheumatology, metabolic disorders and neurosciences.
“We intend to establish Guerin Children’s as an international destination for children and their families and as a leader in pediatric care and research in the United States,” said Thomas M. Priselac, President and CEO of Cedars-Sinai, in a statement. “The support and vision of Vera Guerin and the Shapell Guerin Family Foundation will have a lasting impact on the health of generations of children and families.”
Guerin and her husband have made sizable donations to the hospital in the past, sponsoring the Vera and Paul Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program, the Vera and Paul Guerin Family Pulmonary Disease Research Fund, the Vera and Paul Guerin Family Distinguished Chair in Pulmonary Medicine and the Vera and Paul Guerin Family Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery. Shapell Guerin Family Foundation is a private foundation in Beverly Hills founded in 1961.
Cedars-Sinai named Ophir Klein, M.D., Ph.D. as the first executive director of Guerin Children’s on Dec. 17. The hospital also named Klein as the David and Meredith Kaplan Distinguished Chair in Children’s Health. Klein comes to Cedars-Sinai from the University of California, San Francisco and is recognized for his innovations in pediatrics and genetics. He specializes in developmental and stem cell biology and his research has been focused on understanding how organs form in embryos and how they regenerate in adults.
“Guerin Children’s will provide the highest-quality specialty treatments in the context of a superb healthcare delivery system,” Klein said in a statement. “I am thrilled to join Cedars-Sinai and build a comprehensive, world-class academic children’s health program that includes top-notch clinical, research and educational efforts and will truly meet the needs of patients throughout their lifetimes. It is a privilege to be entrusted with this vital responsibility.”
Klein’s work as chair will be made possible by an endowment through a $5 million donation from philanthropists David and Meredith Kaplan.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Dr. Klein will be overseeing this vitally important effort and look forward to the many innovations he will introduce in the years ahead,” said Meredith Kaplan in a statement.