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$11.2M gift to transform behavioral health at U of M Amplatz Children’s Hospital

January 19, 2011 — University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital announced a gift of $11.2 million toward the goal of $16.5 million to renovate the children’s and adolescent behavioral health units. The gift was made by the hospital’s lead donor, Caroline Amplatz, J.D., and sets in motion the initial renovation effort which is scheduled for completion in 2014. 

Ms. Amplatz made the decision to add to the lead gift she made nearly two years ago for two reasons. “I am making this gift in honor and in memory of my mother, Maxine Heinrich Amplatz, MD, who was a pioneering physician who courageously battled depression,” explains Amplatz. “Second, I strongly believe children facing mental health challenges deserve as fine a care environment as children experiencing medical health concerns. As a community, we must step up and do more to recognize and support those facing mental illness—behavioral health impacts us all.”

Behavioral Health Services at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive mental health, substance abuse, and dual disorder services for children and adolescents. It is one of the largest behavioral health programs for children and adolescents in the nation. With 74 beds and outpatient program services including partial hospital, day treatment and community-based substance abuse treatment programs, more than 3,400 youth and their families receive care each year.

There are five different units—two secured inpatient units, a sub-acute inpatient unit and two outpatient care units. These patient care units are located in existing hospital facilities that were not renovated as part of the new children’s hospital facility building project. This gift was made to fully renovate the two secured inpatient units which treat children with the greatest care needs. Behavioral health facilities renovation and research have been identified as a critical priority for the state and region. The fundraising efforts are being led jointly by the Minnesota Medical Foundation and Fairview Foundation.

“Ms. Amplatz’ commitment to impacting the lives of children facing physical and mental health challenges is truly amazing,” said Kathie Taranto, president, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. “The demand for high quality inpatient behavioral care for children has never been greater. Her gift will allow the state’s premier academic children’s hospital to offer the state-of-the-art of care environment these children need. Because of Ms. Amplatz’s gift, our inpatient pediatric behavioral health facility will be designed to achieve an environment of healing and promise for these youth.”

“Mental health and behavioral health issues are an important part of the health care of children and adolescents,” said Joseph P. Neglia, MD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics. “We must improve the experience, care and perception of mental and behavioral health for our younger patients and their families. This gift will enable our academic faculty and staff to provide quality care in an environment of learning and research that ensures our families receives the best, personalized approach to their child’s mental health needs.”

The gift will renovate the two children’s and adolescent behavioral health inpatient units (27 beds) of University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. It will also provide large muscle therapy spaces to include repairs of the therapeutic pool, a secured outdoor exercise space, and a secured indoor exercise space. The units will align with the design of and be physically connected to the new University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. Research physicians will be engaged in planning and designing of the renovated space to ensure it supports the highest quality patient care together with the relevant residency programs and the teaching and research activities of the University faculty.

About University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital

Located on the east and west banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital is part of Fairview Health Services and is affiliated with the University of Minnesota Medical School, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital provides a broad spectrum of pediatric health care. Our services range from pediatric general surgery, imaging and neonatal and pediatric intensive care to cardiac and oncology services and blood and marrow and organ transplantation.

Innovative approaches and affiliation with the University of Minnesota have led to several firsts, including the first successful pediatric blood marrow transplant, infant heart transplant in Minnesota and cochlear ear implant surgery for a child. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital features one of the three largest kidney transplant programs in the world specializing in infants and small children.

University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital staff, University of Minnesota Physicians and community physicians work together to balance innovative technology and treatments with personal concern. University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital will open a new innovative facility for mothers and children on March 26, 2011. This new facility will provide patient- and family-centered care in more than 50 pediatric and maternal services in one convenient location.

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