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A Heartfelt Gift for Children
Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has received a gift of $50 million from Gordon and Betty Moore to deliver exceptional patient care and advance research for children with heart disease. This private donation from the Moores is the largest gift from an individual to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford since the hospital's original founding gift from David and Lucile Packard.
In honor of this gift, Packard Children's internationally renowned Children's Heart Center will be named the Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center. The gift provides funding for clinical and research facilities, an endowment for the Center's highest strategic priorities, and endowed positions for faculty to lead specialized care and research.
Gordon Moore is co-founder of Intel Corporation. He and his wife, Betty, are also founders of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which works to create positive outcomes for future generations. They are long-time supporters of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and previously made gifts to the hospital's 521,000-square-foot expansion which is now nearing completion.
The Moores were motivated to make this gift after a child in their family benefited from the care of the Children's Heart Center. "Our grandchild had life-saving surgery at the hospital, and we would like to help make sure the capability is there for others," said Gordon Moore.
"We are honored to have the Moores' visionary partnership as we strive every day to heal humanity through science and compassion, one child and family at a time," said Christopher Dawes, president and CEO of Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. "The Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center will provide world-leading cardiac care to patients today, tomorrow, and for generations to come."
The Next Wave of Innovation and Discovery
Over the past 70 years, innovations developed by physicians, clinical researchers, engineers, and basic scientists have transformed the care of children with heart disease and made life-saving interventions not only possible but routine at hospitals like Packard Children's. New surgical techniques and medical therapies, some of which were developed at Stanford University 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. As patients born with heart disease survive longer, there are now more adults than children in the United States with congenital heart disease. 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 renowned pediatric heart surgeon Frank Hanley, MD, who is also the Lawrence Crowley, MD, Endowed Professor in Child Health at Stanford University School of Medicine and executive director of the Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center. "Children who have received complex surgical intervention to repair a cardiac abnormality require careful monitoring and specialized care throughout their lifespan. Many of them face repeat hospitalizations and need subsequent interventions. 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."
The center is renowned for its exceptional overall survival rate of 98 percent—even for patients with the most complex cardiac conditions. Beyond survival alone, the goal is now to ensure an excellent overall outcome—from normal brain function for even the most fragile patients, to the ability for children to perform well in school and to exercise and enjoy an active life into adulthood. At Packard Children's, physicians, nurses, and researchers are bolstering capabilities for diagnosing cardiac diseases using advanced imaging techniques long before babies are born. With prenatal diagnosis, the team can provide optimal planning for care at and shortly after birth, and treat some babies even before they are delivered. Furthermore, as more children survive with congenital heart disease, the team is now looking at lifespan care—bringing together the resources needed to provide comprehensive care to patients from prenatal diagnosis all the way through adulthood.
"Over the past 16 years, the Children's Heart Center has made a national and global impact on the field of pediatric heart disease," said Stephen Roth, MD, MPH, chief of pediatric cardiology and director of the Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center. "We are committed to providing babies and children with heart disease and their families with the happiest, healthiest lives possible, from the early identification of problems, to expert intervention, and finally to a lifetime of care and support."
"Dr. and Mrs. Moore's incredible gift will not only bolster our clinical capabilities for children and families receiving care now in the Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center, it will also accelerate basic and translational research by Stanford Medicine faculty and scientists to develop more precise techniques to predict, prevent, and cure," said Lloyd B. Minor, MD, the Carl and Elizabeth Naumann Dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine. "When it comes to achieving precision health, we must think as big as we can—not just about treating disease, but about making and keeping people healthy—and nowhere is this more true than in children."
In 2017, Packard Children's will complete its major expansion, becoming the most technologically advanced, family-friendly, and environmentally sustainable children's hospital in the nation. The Moores' gift creates an unprecedented opportunity for the Children's Heart Center to expand its state-of-the-art clinical and research facilities, train the future leaders of cardiovascular medicine and surgery, and improve the field of pediatric cardiology and pediatric cardiovascular surgery through innovative research.
In the coming years, the Betty Irene Moore Children's Heart Center team will build a robust program in basic, clinical, and translational research aimed at improving the treatment and prevention of congenital and acquired heart conditions, including adult congenital heart disease. In addition, the Center will expand its clinical facilities, including a newly designed outpatient center, to deliver the best outcomes for every child.
Packard Children's established the Children's Heart Center in 2001 as a center of excellence to focus more expertise and resources on congenital heart disease, the most common type of birth defect worldwide. Each year approximately 40,000 children in the United States are born with heart defects, and an additional 25,000 children develop some kind of acquired heart disease.
The Children's Heart Center has gained recognition as a national and international destination program for several highly-specialized surgical procedures. The Heart Center is also a full-service cardiology program that cares for patients with all forms of the most complex and challenging surgical and medical cardiovascular conditions. Under the leadership of Drs. Hanley and Roth, the center receives more than 25,000 patient visits annually and performs 80 to 90 percent of all cardiac surgical care for children in northern and central California.
This article originally appeared in Stanford Children's Health News.