Atlanta Developer Gives Big Gift to Children’s Hospital

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Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced Monday it has received $1 million from the family of Atlanta developer Herman J. Russell, founder of the H.J. Russell & Company, a real estate and construction firm and the largest minority-owned developer, builder, and property manager in the nation.

The gift will help fund the construction of a four-story pediatric facility at Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital. The hospital, originally constructed in 1952 as a private facility for African-Americans, launched a $43 million capital campaign this year to construct a facility that can better meet the needs of the community.

“We are proud to support such an important resource for our children and believe every child deserves a nice facility and kid-friendly environment in which to receive health care,” Russell said Monday.This was our family’s chance to give a lasting gift that will ensure children now – and in the future – are cared for in a proper facility that has a pediatric focus, which is important since we know that children fare better when treated in a child-centered setting.”

The $1 million gift will help raise the $4.8 million in critical capital funds needed by 2010 to complete the facility.

The lobby will be named after Russell and his late wife Otelia, a former school teacher. Their son Michael, who was born at Hughes Spalding, currently serves on the Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation, a 17 member, non-profit board that oversees the daily operations of the Grady Health System, which includes Hughes Spalding.

The new facility features child- and family-friendly amenities and houses child-friendly inpatient beds, an enhanced and expanded emergency department and vital specialty clinics: sickle cell, asthma, and child protection. In addition, Children’s at Hughes Spalding is the first building in the Children’s system to be built as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building.
“The generosity of the Herman J. Russell Family is a testament to their dedication to enhancing the lives of children in our community,” Donna Hyland, President and CEO of Children’s said Monday. “The new facility allows us to deliver an even higher level of patient care in a facility that is suitable for a pediatric population. We have laid a foundation that does more than keep the facility operational, but puts it on a path for future growth that will help to improve the lives of both the children of our city and Georgia.“

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