The gateway building at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) has been renamed the Joyce and Stanley Black Family Building after a dedication ceremony at the hospital on Sunset Boulevard on March 27.
In October, the hospital announced that the family had donated $15 million to fund research and clinical care programs at the hospital. It was among the organization’s biggest individual gifts ever.
“I hope it lasts for many more years,” Stanley Black said during the dedication.
In attendance was 7-year-old Maximo Bautista, who is recovering from multiple surgeries related to his diagnosis of mastoiditis, an infection of the mastoid bone in the skull. The late Joyce Black was treated for the same condition at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles almost 70 years ago.
“She always said, ‘You have to support children’s hospital, because when I needed it as a child, they really helped me,’” Stanley Black said.
Last December, Maximo was airlifted to CHLA from a hospital in Oxnard due to fears that the child’s hearing and eyesight could be impacted by the infection. His mother, Graciela Bautista, said a lot of complications arose after surgery.
“We were very fortunate that all the specialties that he needed were all in one place, and they were such amazing doctors,” she said.
Maximo’s mastoidectomy caused blood clots, which then caused cranial pressure, leading to pressure on the child’s optical nerves, his mother said. His head had become so swollen that he had trouble fitting into the MRI machine, she said.
“At the end of that week, I would’ve been blinded,” Maximo explained. After the family’s first stint staying at the hospital, Maximo came down with a fever and had to return. “When I’m sick, that’s the problem — I always look like this.”
Although other issues came to light during his treatment, the 7 year old is now receiving outpatient care. He must undergo one more surgery, but family members are optimistic that the worst is behind them.
Graciela Bautista praised the CHLA doctors’ response to the issues that Maximo encountered. She said his case was very intensive and very unusual, but the hospital staff worked well together despite having so many specialists working on one case.
“They’ve never seen anything like this — all the complications in one,” Maximo said.
The family, including father Javier and younger brother Adan, were happy to attend the dedication — especially considering the support they received from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“It’s reassuring,” Javier Bautista said. “This hospital is really good. They’ve been taking care of us really well.”
The dedication ceremony was held in the Joyce and Stanley Black and Family Healing and Meditation Garden, a quarter-acre garden named in 2004 in honor of a $2 million donation from the family.
Cathy Siegel Weiss, co-chair of the CHLA Board of Trustees, said the garden was dedicated approximately 10 years ago, but still serves as a respite for families, patients and hospital staff. She said patients use the space to learn how to navigate on different surfaces, and plant flowers as part of their therapy.
“At Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, everything has a purpose. Nothing is uni-dimensional,” Weiss said.
She brought Maximo to the podium to “share the embodiment” of what the Black family’s philanthropy means. Weiss said the child had seven surgeries in five different divisions at CHLA.
“Max really is living proof that Children’s Hospital continues to make a world of difference for kids from every generation, and while medicine has changed dramatically since Joyce was here, one thing that has not changed is the Black family’s support of our healing mission,” she said, adding that the Black family has supported cancer research, programs and services at the hospital for decades.
Weiss said the Joyce and Stanley Black Family Building serves as a gateway to the whole campus, though it was constructed principally to house the surgery department and support services.
“The result is a world-class facility in which our world-class doctors perform more than sixteen thousand surgical procedures a year,” she said, adding that the gateway is the central entry point for all patients. Weiss said the building welcomes more than 1.3 million visitors each year. “That’s extraordinary. So, this really is the gateway to all that is spectacular about Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.”
She said Walt Disney Imagineers designed the interior of the building, which is also home to surgical waiting areas, blood-drawing facilities and patient registration functions. A new interfaith center is expected to open in the building soon.
Through the $15 million gift, the hospital will continue its efforts to search for cures and train the next generation of caregivers, Weiss said.
“Yes, our reach is worldwide, thanks in no small part to your extraordinary generosity,” she added.
Yeghig Keshishian, a spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, said the event marked an opportunity to recognize civic and business leaders in Southern California for giving so much to advance the welfare and social construct of Los Angeles. He referred to CHLA as a national leader in healthcare.
“It’s acts of generosity … which exemplify the mayor’s very personal pension in terms of advancing more opportunities to bettering our communities to increasing awareness of critical ailments. …But more importantly, it’s also bringing people together as a community,” Keshishian said.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, 3rd District, was also on hand to recognize the Black family for the gift. He said Stanley and Joyce Black are “among the most charitable and just basically wonderful people to have ever graced” the city and county of Los Angeles.
“They’ve always looked at their philanthropy portfolio as an investment in the future,” Yaroslavsky said.
He said CHLA is a “very important institution” in the county, one of the great healthcare facilities in the world. The supervisors said the hospital has always been about families, helping children with crippling and life-threatening diseases and injuries.
“Instead of being cast aside by our society, thanks to all of you and thanks to Stanley and Joyce and the Black family, they have a new lease on life here at this hospital. I’ve seen it with my own eyes many, many times,” Yaroslavsky said.
He said plenty of families have reached the front doors of the hospital with very little hope. Yaroslavsky referenced an incident on the eve of the 1984 Olympic Games in which a “maniac” drove his car on the sidewalk in Westwood Village and severely and critically injured a toddler. He said the child was given little hope, but survived thanks to CHLA.
“When the child left Los Angeles, he was in far better shape than he was when he entereted the hospital here,” Yaroslavsky added.
At the end of the ceremony, CHLA officials unveiled the building’s new name and toasted the Black family for its support.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.