Children's Hospital Los Angles

Children's Hospital Los Angles

An anonymous philanthropist has donated $20 million to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to expand and equip its overcrowded emergency room.

The East Hollywood hospital announced July 10 that the funds will go toward renovating its Maurice Marciano Family Foundation Emergency Department and Trauma Center. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

“We are filled with gratitude by the generosity of this transformative gift,” says Paul S. Viviano, chief executive for Children’s Hospital, in a statement. “The Emergency Department at CHLA serves one of the largest and most diverse pediatric populations in the nation, and we believe that every child should have access to quality pediatric experts and expertise.”

The gift was among the largest in the history of the 117-year-old hospital, officials said. Funds from the nameless donor will increase access to the capacity of the Emergency Department for generations of incoming children.

The renovation includes expansion of its waiting room, adding 11 new patient bays to increase capacity by 30 percent, installing high-tech cardiopulmonary and medical record monitors, and remodeling nursing stations to enhance team-based care.

The ER has recently added a trained Child Life team to help soothe children, calm parents and guide clinicians on child-friendly care methods.

The Children’s Hospital L.A. Emergency Department opened in 2011 to handle 65,000 patient visits a year. But the ER – which takes in 44 percent of all hospital inpatients – now sees 90,000 patients and is beyond capacity, according to the hospital.

“With the new space and technology, the department will increase its capacity to deliver safe, innovative care, improve workflow and reduce wait times for patients, while also training the next generation of pediatric emergency medicine specialists,” said Dr. Alan L. Nager, director of emergency and transport medicine at CHLA.

The $20 million gift from the unnamed donor will also go to purchasing a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, that will be used be the entire hospital.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.