The namesakes of Rady Children’s Hospital donated a historic $200 million to the facility for a “top-to-bottom transformation,” hospital officials confirmed Thursday morning.
Ernest and Evelyn Rady gifted the large sum for campus planning, technology upgrades, and to better innovate care for children in the region, the hospital said.
“This is very emotional for me. I'm not sure if it's emotional because I'm parting with all this dough, which makes me want to cry or it makes me want to cry because of all the people we're going to help,” Ernest Rady said. “This is really my wife's instigation, as much as mine, is to give it to help other people.”
Rady Children’s Hospital President and CEO Patrick A. Frias, MD, said the donation marked a “landmark day for pediatric health care.”
“This historic investment will transform our physical campus and enable Rady Children’s to pursue a rigorous campus redesign to seamlessly integrate the latest technology into clinical care, allow us to expand to meet the pediatric health care needs of our region and beyond, and support the health and well-being of our patients, families and staff in a caring and innovative environment,” Frias said.
Over the hospital’s nearly seven decades, it has grown to care for nearly 250,000 children from 46 states and 50 countries around the world, according to Rady Children’s Hospital.
The chair of Rady Children’s Board of Trustees, S. Douglas Hutcheson, agreed with Frias, calling it an “unprecedented opportunity.”
“The launch of this master planning process is at an inflection point in the hospital’s seven decades of providing consistently excellent and selectively distinctive care to children in our community. The Radys’ investment will allow us to thoughtfully look at how best Rady Children’s can continue to serve children and their families for the next 70 years,” Hutcheson said.
The facility holds 524 inpatient beds, making it one of the largest hospitals of its kind in the country.
“This is a top-to-bottom transformation,” said Frias. “Our focus is on building a healthier future to serve the needs of current and future generations. To do that, we will look holistically at our campus footprint to develop a master campus and system plan that ensures delivery of leading-edge care and makes the highest and best use of space and technology on the main campus and in the community. This investment will allow us to do exactly that.”
Ernest and Evelyn Rady said they hope their donation will inspire the community to continue investing in “keeping kids healthy.”
“Our most vulnerable population deserves strong advocates. It’s up to our community to make sure every child has the best possible care available,” Ernest Rady said. “Evelyn and I have gotten a great deal of pride and satisfaction from the wonderful care that the people at Rady Children’s Hospital have provided to the children of our community.”
Ernest Rady is the executive chairman, president, and CEO of American Assets Trust – a real estate investment trust. He has had a long and impactful career in the insurance, financial services, and real estate industries.
The Radys have invested nearly $400 million to the hospital during their lifetimes, including $120 million in 2014 for the Rady Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institue.
Until Thursday's donation, it was the largest donation ever made to Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation.