In a moment that garnered gasps, cheers and applause in the hospital’s crowded lobby, CHRISTUS-Santa Rosa announced Thursday a $20 million donation to be made to Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.
It is the biggest donation made in the 144-year history of CHRISTUS Santa Rosa.
“We will have exterior gardens, including a play area for children and a healing garden, that would not have been possible without additional funding,” said John Bel, vice president and chief development officer of Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.
A portion of the gift will be reserved for the “development and implementation of some really creative, collaborative strategies around health and wellness and community outreach," said Suzanne Mead Feldmann, executive director of the Goldsbury Foundation, which made the donation.
The foundation is a San Antonio-based private family foundation with a history of working with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa.
"As soon as they made their announcement that they were going to become a free-standing children's hospital, we knew we were on board," said Feldmann.
That announcement came roughly one year ago and kicked off the deconstruction of the downtown Santa Rosa campus to transform it the children's hospital.
CHRISTUS-Santa Rosa stopped serving adult patients in the summer of 2012.
"Very important to the Goldsbury foundation was that this should be a place that when a parent and child arrive, that says it’s going to be okay. You’re welcome here. We're going to take care of you. Don’t be afraid,” Bel said.
"It will send a message to the rest of the community that this project will be successful and it’s a project that we all really need here in San Antonio and South Texas," said Bobby Cavender, Santa Rosa Children's Hospital Foundation chairman.
The design phase of Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is complete and exterior work is set to begin in late summer 2013. The project is expected to be complete in late 2014.