Pauline Gill Sullivan lived her life with a spirit of appreciation and thankfulness. That generous spirit will continue to touch the lives of patients at Children’s far into the future, thanks to a $10 million gift from the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation in support of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
It is the largest single gift ever made to Children’s other than bequests.
The Pauline Allen Gill Foundation gift will be used to fund construction and renovation of the hospital’s sixth floor, which will be named the Pauline Allen Gill Center, in honor of Sullivan.
“Excellent healthcare is one of the most important pillars in a community, and Children’s is a jewel that offers quality care,” said Nancy Seay, daughter of the late Pauline Gill Sullivan. “The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders already has a world-class team of doctors and nurses in place, and this gift will give them an unsurpassed facility in which to care for their patients, creating a whole new level of clinical care and research in pediatric cancer and blood disorders. My mother was an exceptional woman whose focus on family, concern for the needs of children, and courageous battle with her own cancer make this an appropriate gift in her honor.”
One in 400 children is diagnosed with cancer each year. The number of patient visits to the CCBD at Children’s has grown steadily over the past several years because the pediatric population of the North Texas region is growing faster than the national average. In 2006, doctors diagnosed 229 patients with cancer.
More than 50 patients are treated every day in the CCBD outpatient unit, which means that the facility is often crowded. Last year, patient visits to the CCBD outpatient unit topped 12,000. The impact of the gift will quadruple the outpatient capacity of the new Pauline Allen Gill Center.
“The Pauline Allen Gill Foundation recognized both the challenges brought on by our region’s growing pediatric population and the urgent need to expand the inpatient and outpatient facilities at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders,” said Chris Durovich, president and chief executive officer of Children’s.
“With this transformational gift from the foundation, the Pauline Allen Gill Center will allow Children’s to take the specialized treatment of our most critically ill patients to a new level.”
With a long-term vision to have all Hematology-Oncology services on one floor, Children’s has initiated an expansion of the CCBD to create a user-friendly facility providing seamless services to the patients and their families.
“The intent of the gift is to see an expanded, well-planned center with an environment for optimum care and comfort of the children being treated, and support for the exceptional team of doctors, nurses and staff,” Seay said. “It is a privilege for the Gill Foundation to provide a gift that enables the hospital to make this shared dream a reality.”
The CCBD also follows more than 1,400 patients in the After the Cancer Experience, or ACE, program, which offers long-term monitoring for children, adolescents and young adult survivors of childhood cancer.
“Fighting cancer as an adult is hard enough,” said Dr. George Buchanan, Chief of Hematology- Oncology at Children’s and professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “It is extremely difficult to be a child faced with this terrible disease, visiting the hospital regularly to receive arduous treatments. Our goal is to make the whole experience as positive as it can be, for both the patients and their families, and to get them out of the hospital healthy.”
The Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, created by the late community leader and philanthropist Pauline Gill Sullivan, has provided support for many Dallas-area organizations.
The $10 million gift to Children’s represents the largest single grant ever made from the Pauline Allen Gill Foundation to any nonprofit organization.
“My mother created the foundation in 1975 as the entity she would use to share her financial blessings with nonprofit organizations in our area that were bringing relief to suffering, enrichment through education and the arts, and improvement in addressing quality of life and faith issues,” Seay said.
“The foundation has evolved into a vehicle to encourage her descendants to continue to give back. I hope the gift says that we must not take for granted that Children’s is there for us, but rather that we have a role to play in ensuring Children’s continues to\ be the premier healthcare provider for our own children and grandchildren.”