$50 million gift to Packard Children’s Hospital will advance care, research of pediatric heart disease

The donation from philanthropists Gordon and Betty Moore is the largest gift to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford since the hospital’s founding gift.

- By Jennifer Yuan

Gordon and Betty Moore have given $50 million to the Children's Heart Center at Packard Children's Hospital. 
Courtesy of Susanna Frohman/Mercury News

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 that improves the health of children with heart disease.

The Moores’ donation is the largest private gift to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford since the hospital’s founding donation from David and Lucile Packard.

In honor of the new 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 Corp. 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 longtime supporters of Packard Children’s and previously made gifts to enable the hospital’s 521,000-square-foot expansion, which is now nearing completion.

The Moores were motivated to make their latest gift after a child in their family benefited from the care of the Children’s Heart Center. “Our grandchild had lifesaving surgery at the hospital, and we would like to help make sure the capability is there for others,” Gordon Moore said.

“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.”

Next wave of innovation and discovery

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.

We imagine a day when a child born with a poorly working aortic valve ... receives a replacement valve engineered from his own stem cells.

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 pediatric heart surgeon Frank Hanley, MD, who is also the Lawrence Crowley, MD, Endowed Professor in Child Health at the 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 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.”

The center has an overall survival rate of 98 percent. 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.

Lifetime of care

“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,” said Stephen Roth, MD, MPH, chief of pediatric cardiology and director of the center.

“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 Minor, MD, dean of the 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 will enable 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 addition, the center will expand its clinical facilities, including a newly designed outpatient center.

Packard Children’s established the Children’s Heart Center in 2001 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 center has gained recognition as a national and international destination program for several highly specialized surgical procedures, and is also a full-service cardiology program that cares for patients with all forms of cardiovascular conditions. Under the leadership of 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.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit med.stanford.edu.

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