Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the hospital, raises funds to provide children and their families with full-service support when faced with medical challenges.

Families throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties rely on Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital as the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the region, serving more than 1.2 million children. The other closest children’s hospitals are in Orange County, Los Angeles County and Phoenix. The hospital is a level one trauma center providing advanced levels of care including neurology, cancer care, heart transplants and nearly every other medical specialty as well as emergency care that is specialized for pediatric needs.

Much of the community assumes that the Children’s Hospital has all the funding it needs, but this is not the case according to Joanna DeLeon, the Foundation’s director. There is a gap between what insurance pays for and what the hospital provides.

Children’s Hospital Foundation helps bridge these gaps while also being a voice for the children. Through the Foundation, community philanthropists can make sure that doctors have the best and most state-of-the-art equipment such as the recently purchased NeuroNavigator, which works like a GPS during delicate pediatric brain surgeries.

Funding also helps provide programming to support emotional needs, provide experiences that brighten patients’ days, and make sure that the whole family feels supported. This includes playrooms stocked with toys and activities where children can have a respite from tests and procedures while just being a kid.

The programs that the Foundation provides for patients and their families of often once-in-a-lifetime experiences. On July 12, the hospital was visited by the Garner Holt Foundation. Garner Holt Productions, Inc., known for manufacturing animatronics for clients like Disneyland, transformed a room in the hospital into an interactive space. Kids and their families were also able to participate in a workshop where they built their own animatronic BrushTronic Bug.

“There are a lot of things that people may not realize kids need or that happen,” DeLeon said. “Kids are not just small adults. Through the Children’s Hospital Foundation, the community can help support the families and let them know that someone is thinking of them.”

Recently, the Children’s Hospital Foundation received a grant from the Webb Family Fund for Parity through the Inland Empire Community Foundation. There are many ways to support the Children’s Hospital Foundation and every gift can make a difference no matter the level of support.

We are appreciative of any gift that is meaningful to folks at whatever level that is,” DeLeon said. “Everyone, no matter where they are at, could make a difference.”

In April, the Children’s Hospital Foundation held its 30th Anniversary Gala raising over $1.1 million. The community can also get involved with events held by chapters of volunteer guilds which fundraise and raise awareness of the hospital’s needs. The Desert Guild, Loma Linda Guild, Riverside Guild and Temecula Valley Guild have more than 420 members.

The impact of the community’s generosity and support cannot be overstated; it empowers us to deliver hope, healing, and transformative care to countless children and families in our community,” Senior Vice President of Advancement at Loma Linda University Health, Rachelle Bussell said, “We are deeply grateful to the community to helping us keep our children healthy and happy.”

For More Information:  https://lluch.org/ways-give/ or 909-558-5384

This story originally appeared in the Press Enterprise November 2023.

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