Texas Children’s promise to provide the highest quality care to all those who come to us hasn’t changed. But Houston and the surrounding area, and the complex medical needs of our patients, are ever-changing.
To meet those needs, Promise: The Campaign for Texas Children’s Hospital was launched, with a goal of raising $475 million by 2020. The monumental fundraising effort focused on several crucial initiatives that would allow us to expand our reach in Greater Houston and beyond and to offer our world-class care to even more children who need it.
The response from the philanthropic community has defied all belief. Not only did we meet our goal, we shattered it. More than 183,000 donors raised $578.4 million – $103.4 million over the original goal – and two years ahead of schedule.
“Our plan for the largest expansion in Texas Children’s history was ambitious, but the response was extraordinary, far exceeding our wildest dreams,” said Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace. “From the very beginning, we had the support of generous philanthropists in the community, and that support remained constant – and is still absolutely vital to our success.”
Keeping our promises
- To ensure that children who require complex care always have a place to go for treatment
Every year, more and more families come to Texas Children’s for life-saving care – care they can’t receive elsewhere. At one point, in November 2013, Texas Children’s was full and on drive-by status. Other hospitals were calling, wanting to transport their most critically ill patients, but we couldn’t accept the transports. We had to say “no.”
Texas Children’s Board of Trustees quickly approved a measure to build a new facility that would enable us to care for more children with complex conditions who require treatment that only Texas Children’s can provide.
The result – the Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower. The cutting-edge, 640-square-foot expansion is Texas Children’s new home for heart, intensive care and surgery, and was named for Lester and Sue Smith in honor of their transformational gift.
Before the Lester and Sue Smith Legacy Tower opened, our ICU was almost always at or over 100 percent capacity. Now the average is in the low 90 percent levels, giving us room to accept transfers of critically ill patients and to move our own patients into critical care if they need it.
- To bring a dedicated pediatric hospital to a growing community
Just a short time ago, families from north of Houston were regularly traveling 40 miles or more to our Texas Medical Center campus with children who had chronic conditions and required ongoing treatment and management. It was too far. These families deserved the highest-quality, dedicated pediatric care close to home.
Through the overwhelming generosity of donations to the Promise Campaign, we were able to build Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, which opened in May 2017. Now families living north of Houston have access to the area’s first dedicated pediatric emergency center, state-of-the-art operating rooms, world-class critical care services and an accredited motion analysis lab.
The effect in the community was felt immediately. Our first-year numbers for admissions, outpatient visits, emergency center visits, surgeries and special procedures doubled projected estimates. Moreover, expanded access in The Woodlands has freed up services at our Texas Medical Center campus for children with even more complex conditions.
- To advance the practice and science of pediatric medicine
From its world-class neurology and cardiology departments to a comprehensive Fetal Center that is one of only a few in the world, Texas Children’s offers specialty services for children who require complex care. Philanthropic support for these programs helps bring comfort and healing to children from this community and from across the world.
The Promise Campaign raised vital funds for several of our world-class divisions and centers of excellence, such as the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) and Texas Children’s Trauma and Grief Center (TAG).
Promise Campaign support for the NRI has already led to some remarkable advances, such as the identification of a likely culprit gene responsible for mild-to-severe regression of previously acquired motor and language skills. A potential link between a group of genes responsible for cellular waste-disposal disorders in children and Parkinson’s disease has also been discovered.
Texas Children’s TAG is committed to raising the standard of care and increasing access to best-practice care for traumatized and bereaved children, adolescents and their families. Generous funding through the Promise Campaign has enabled the TAG Center to expand care beyond our main campus clinic into the community to help children and families in schools, community clinics, mobile clinics and primary care pediatric offices.
- To recruit and retain world-class physicians and scientists
Not a day goes by when one of Texas Children’s most notable experts isn’t being recruited by another leading children’s hospital. To recruit and retain world-class physicians and scientists, endowed chairs are our most powerful too.
Through the Promise Campaign, generous donors have helped Texas Children’s bring the best and brightest from across the country, including our Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Larry Hollier, the S. Baron Hardy Chair in Plastic Surgery, and Dr. Michael Belfort, our Gynecologist-in-Chief and F.B. McGuyer Family Endowed Chair in Fetal Surgery.
Once an endowed chair is in place, the chair holder has access to significant funds that may be used to provide support for innovative research projects or to launch new programs.
- To offer quality care to children in our community regardless of their family’s ability to pay
When Texas Children’s Hospital began in 1954, its founders made a promise that it would be a place where all children would receive the very best care, regardless of their families’ ability to pay.
That’s a promise we’re still keeping today. More than half of our patients are on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Plan. It is Texas Children’s responsibility to serve our community. Every child deserves the very best health care.
During the Promise Campaign, Texas Children’s Hospital provided an average of $13 million in charity care each year.