Spectrum Health leadership today announced the kickoff of the public phase of the capital campaign for the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. The quiet phase of the For Our Kids campaign has been underway since December 2005 and has raised $76,013,180 toward the $100 million goal.
"We are very grateful for the contributions given for Helen DeVos Children's Hospital and its future," said Richard C. Breon, Spectrum Health President & CEO. "We are very fortunate to have such generous donors leading this incredible level of support. They have embraced our vision and are committed to helping us build the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital for our kids and families."
A gift from Tom and Mickie Fox and the Fox family marked the first gift to the campaign. The Foxes were inspired to be part of the campaign when they toured the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital last year.
"The doctors and nurses we met were so passionate about helping children," said Tom Fox. "We came away from our tour with a desire to help support the new hospital in a significant way. Our children and all six grandchildren live in Grand Rapids or close by, so we want to assure that the best health care available anywhere is available here—not only for them, but for all children and families in the region."
At the kickoff event today, gifts of $12.5 million from each second generation DeVos family—Dick and Betsy DeVos, Dan and Pam DeVos, Bob and Cheri VanderWeide, and Doug and Maria DeVos—for a total of $50 million was announced. It is the largest collective gift ever from one family to Spectrum Health. This contribution marks a transition of philanthropy to the second generation of the DeVos family, demonstrating their continued commitment to the legacy their parents, Rich and Helen DeVos, have established through their generous giving.
The second generation DeVos family members each commented at the event:
- "As a campaign co-chair, I couldn't be more pleased with the generosity of the lead donors and the campaign progress to date," said Dan DeVos. "My family is proud to be part of this exciting project. In tribute to our parents and the community, the children of Rich and Helen DeVos are making a commitment to this campaign and the future of our community."
- "We especially appreciate that this new hospital will be named in honor of our mother, Helen DeVos, and that we have an opportunity to present a gift this morning to pay tribute to her," said Cheri VanderWeide. "It's a pleasure for us to honor our parents and the example they've set for us to share our blessings with others."
- "The impact of this hospital will be deep and wide-for countless children and in building our reputation beyond West Michigan as a caring community," said Doug DeVos. "We want to ensure that these services are available for all children needing care throughout Michigan."
- "Our parents taught us by example the importance and joy of giving," said Dick DeVos. "Our community has taught all of us the value of working together to achieve goals beyond our own needs. We are contributing to more than a building—we're contributing to a caring environment of hope and healing."
A team of six co-chairs are leading the For Our Kids campaign:
- Richard L. Antonini
- Daniel G. DeVos
- Donnalee Holton
- Ethelyn Haworth
- Wilbur A. Lettinga
- Joan Secchia
During the past few months, campaign co-chairs have been sharing their perspective on the value of a new children's hospital.
"When it comes to caring for children and their families, we want them to have the finest care delivered in the most comforting environment," said Donnalee Holton, campaign co-chair. "The situations that bring these children to the hospital are often very serious and life threatening. This new hospital will provide them with the best care possible as well as a place they can feel at home."
"Helen DeVos Children's Hospital positively impacts countless lives," said Richard Antonini, campaign co-chair. "Our community is filled with heartfelt stories of the impact this hospital has had on so many, such as Ethie Haworth's story of her grandson battling leukemia here. Others may not have experienced this hospital personally but understand how critical it is to the children in our region. For example, Jim and Ginger Jurries' son was born prematurely so they know how important a neonatal intensive care unit is to families in similar situations."
The 14-story, 440,000-square-foot facility with a projected cost of $190 million is scheduled to open in 2010. A groundbreaking date is expected this fall.
"Today is really a day of opportunity," said Robert Connors, MD, President, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. "The entire region has the chance to be part of something that will impact children and families for years to come. Support from the community will make the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital a reality."
Individuals who would like to contribute to the For Our Kids campaign should contact the Spectrum Health Foundation by calling 391-2000 or visit http://devoschildrens.org/forourkids.
On average, Helen DeVos Children's Hospital has a larger daily census than most children's hospitals in the nation.
Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is West Michigan's largest children's hospital, serving children and families throughout a 37-county region. A teaching hospital, it includes more than 150 pediatric specialty physicians uniquely skilled in providing medical and surgical care to children in more than 40 pediatric specialties. The hospital cares for more than 7,600 inpatients and 190,000 outpatients annually. Helen DeVos Children's Hospital is committed to caring for children and families with compassion, excellence and innovation.
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan that offers a full continuum of care through its seven hospitals, more than 140 service sites and 470,000-member health plan, Priority Health. Our 13,000 employees, 1,400 medical staff members and 2,000 volunteers are committed to delivering the highest quality care to those in medical need. We provided $88 million in community benefit during our 2005 fiscal year. Spectrum Health has earned numerous national awards including being ranked in Verispan's listing of top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks.