Lehigh Valley Health Network announced today it received one of the largest donations in its history from developer and philanthropists J.B. Reilly and his wife, Kathleen, which will be used to support enhancements to its Children’s Hospital.
The hospital will be renamed Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital.
The Reillys requested the amount of their gift remain private, LVHN said.
J.B. Reilly, president and co-founder of City Center Investment Corp., has been instrumental in transforming downtown Allentown with more than $1 billion in redevelopment projects.
Calling it a “transformational gift that will dramatically impact pediatric care across our region,” Dr. Brian Nester, president and CEO of LVHN, said the Reillys’ donation will be used to enhance programs, services and facilities at the children’s hospital.
“Rare and generous gifts likes these have the opportunity to improve the lives of children and families for decades to come,” Nester said in a statement.
Kathleen Reilly said she and her husband learned how crucial it is to have pediatric health care close to home after their two daughters’ lives were saved by doctors at LVHN.
“I would like the children’s hospital to be considered a jewel in the crown of the Lehigh Valley,” Reilly said in a statement.
“The Lehigh Valley deserves it and I hope the community will rally to support it,” she added.
In 2012, LVHN established a children’s hospital in the Jaindl Pavilion at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Salisbury Township. The Children’s Hospital sees more than 4,600 inpatients a year and more than 200,000 outpatients a year. It has the region’s only level 4 neonatal intensive care unit, which is the highest level of care for premature infants.
The gift will enable the hospital to bring under one roof more than 30 pediatric specialties, from childhood cancer to cystic fibrosis, that are spread out over the campus, LVHN said.
The money will also be used to build a new pediatric inpatient unit that will include 30 private rooms with child-friendly touches, such as doors labeled by colors and animals.
The hospital will expand the pediatric intensive care unit, from eight beds to 12 beds, and create additional private space for families to be together. The NICU will be expanded and updated and more specialists will be hired to help kids cope emotionally while they’re in the hospital.
A new designated entrance for Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital will be built and the children’s hospital emergency room – the only one of its kind in the region – will grow by 14 beds. It is expected to open in 2021.
The Reilly’s previously made a donation to LVHN in 2016 for what became the Reilly Children’s Surgery Center. Their new gift will enable the center, which focuses on minimally invasive and state-of-the-art technologies, to include care for congenital defects, hearing impairments and gastrointestinal disease.
Dr. Nathan Hagstrom, physician-in-chief of Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, said, “With the consolidation into a true children’s hospital, we will grow services and touch even more lives … Just as these kids are growing fast, so are we.”