In the bright lobby of Levine Children’s Hospital, philanthropic leaders announced big news for little hearts. Almost $2.5 million in local funding will support pediatric cardiovascular services and the pediatric congenital heart program at LCH. 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.
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.”
About the Partnership:
Rick and Linda Hendrick originally supported LCH with a $3 million gift in memory of their son, Ricky. In his honor, the 6th Floor is named the Ricky Hendrick Centers for Intensive Care. The pediatric cardiovascular intensive care unit – the only one of its kind in the region – is housed on this floor.
The Ganatra Family – Tansukh (one of the founders of the US LEC telecommunications company, now part of Windstream Communications), Sarla, and Rajesh – are long-time supporters of pediatric cardiac programs at LCH.
The Dreamcatcher Society is a philanthropic group of 200+ couples and individuals who are dedicated to supporting resources at LCH.
The regional Showmars chain of 27 fast casual dining restaurants has a passion for supporting children and a history of giving back to the Charlotte community.