Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) announced Tuesday that Kathleen McCarthy Kostlan and The Thomas and Dorothy Foundation have donated a gift of $5.5 million to establish The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation Interfaith Center.
In addition to naming and supporting construction of the new facility, funds will also be used to establish the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation Spiritual Care Program Endowment.
“We are immensely grateful to Kathleen for her generous gift and continued commitment to CHLA,” said Richard Cordova, president and CEO of CHLA. “Her leadership will play a vital role creating and sustaining this important space for the patients and families we care for.”
The gift is the largest made in support of the spiritual care services program in CHLA history, officials said, and represents a leadership gift toward the program’s $10 million fundraising goal. Construction on the new 2,400-square-foot indoor and outdoor center will begin in February 2015 with completion and move-in expected in the fall of next year, officials added.
It will be centrally located on the south side of the Joyce and Stanley Black Family Building, accessible from the Burtie Green Bettingen Surgery Center, the outpatient tower and other inpatient facilities.
“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has always been a leader in the services it provides to the diverse community it serves,” said Kostlan, who is a member of the board since 2012.
“It was of great interest to me that the spiritual care program receive significant support so that persons of all faiths need not go far to receive comfort and healing. Often, spiritual care is an afterthought to health care. But in fact, the two go hand-in-hand in helping people heal. The new center paired with the hospital’s spiritual care services program will complement the top-notch medical care young patients receive at CHLA.”
The center will include 900 feet of indoor prayer and meditation space, an interfaith sanctuary, a semi-private Our Lady of Gaudalupe devotional and areas that can serve all faiths (including Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon Muslim and Hindu) and a 1,500-square-foot outdoor reflection garden.
In addition to serving patient and family needs, the CHLA spiritual care team provides guidance and support to hospital staff, and educates them about religious traditions that may impact a child’s medical care.
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