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$50 million gift to propel advances in pediatric heart research and care

IMG_1766Each year the Children's Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford receives more than 25,000 patient visits and performs 80 to 90 percent of all cardiac surgical care for children in northern and central California. Now, with a $50 million gift from philanthropists Gordon and Betty Moore, the clinical care and research that happens there can advance even further.

As explained in a news story:

Over the past 70 years, new surgical techniques and medical therapies, some of which were developed at the Stanford School of Medicine and Packard Children’s, have evolved and greatly improved outcomes for children with almost every type of congenital heart disease.

Heart defects that were once universally fatal can now be surgically improved... However, further advancements are still needed to ensure a healthier future for patients, many of whom continue to face a compromised quality of life and require subsequent surgeries.

'Surgical intervention can repair, but it rarely can truly cure,' said pediatric heart surgeon Frank Hanley, MD... 'Children who have received complex surgical intervention to repair a cardiac abnormality require careful monitoring and specialized care throughout their life span. We imagine a day when a child born with a poorly working aortic valve, rather than undergoing multiple open-heart operations throughout his lifetime, instead receives a replacement valve engineered from his own stem cells. Dr. and Mrs. Moore’s gift comes at a critical juncture — enabling us to advance beyond surgical repair to the discovery of transformational treatments and interventions and, ultimately, to true cures.'

Cures is a mighty word in the medical field. But $50 million -- the largest gift from an individual to the hospital since its founding -- is a mighty amount of money that can fuel real progress.

The center will now be known as the Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center. Gordon Moore, who co-founded Intel, and his wife, Betty, were inspired to make the donation after their grandchild received heart surgery at the center.

"We would like to help make sure the capability is there for others," Gordon said in the article.

Previously: Pediatric cardiologists bring virtual reality to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, Internal pump helps young patient wait for a heart transplant out of the hospital and Mystery solved: Researchers use genetic tools to diagnose young girl's rare heart condition
Photo courtesy of Susanna Frohman/Mercury News

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