Cedars-Sinai’s first pediatric center is nearing completion.
The 23,000-square-foot, 26-bed Guerin Children’s center is set to open later this summer on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center campus in Beverly Grove.
The new center was launched following a $100 million gift – the largest lifetime gift in Cedars-Sinai’s 119-year history – from the Shapell Guerin Family Foundation. The foundation’s president, Vera Guerin – who last year placed No. 47 on the Business Journal’s Wealthiest Angelenos list with a net worth of $1.8 billion – is the immediate past chair of the Cedars-Sinai Health System Board of Directors.
She, along with her husband, Paul Guerin, and their three children are longtime supporters of Cedars-Sinai.
“So, it’s come to that time where Paul and I needed to think, ‘What type of legacy did we want to leave and to whom?’” Vera Guerin said in a Cedars-Sinai blog entry.
“After some deliberation, we both concluded that first and foremost, we wanted our gift to benefit children’s health and quality of life.”
The gift also honors the memory and legacy of Vera Guerin’s parents, Nathan and Lilly Shapell, both Holocaust survivors. Guerin said in the blog entry that her father helped smuggle children out of a Jewish ghetto, which inspired the family’s desire to support a new pediatric healthcare facility and to include some special features to help families coping with a sick child.
“We intend to establish Guerin Children’s as an international destination for children and their families and as a leader in pediatric care and research in the United States,” Thomas Priselac, Cedars-Sinai’s chief executive, said in the blog entry.
“The support and vision of Vera Guerin and the Shapell Guerin Family Foundation will have a lasting impact on the health of generations of children and families.”
The center includes several features designed specifically to help children momentarily forget they are hospitalized, according to the blog entry. There is a movie theatre/game room. The halls feature specially curated child-friendly art installations and a wall of 3-D clouds. For children who can go outdoors, the gardens will have a play area and conversation corners.
Each of the 26 patient rooms is furnished with a pullout bed as well as a reclining easy chair that lies flat so two adults, whether parents or other caregivers, can comfortably stay overnight with their child-patient. Each room also has a window that looks out onto the campus gardens.