For new pediatric care center, CHOP lands its largest gift ever: $50 million

    The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has received its largest gift ever. The $50-million donation is going toward a big building with big ambitions.

    “This is going to be a facility that others will come from around the country and around the world to study as the ideal outpatient pediatric experience,” said Stuart Sullivan, CHOP’s chief development officer.

    Sullivan is talking about the newly named Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care.

    About the building

    Currently under construction, the colorful 12-story outpatient center will bring a plethora of services under one LEED Silver roof.

    The $425-million building — set to open in late 2015 — will be named after the Buerger family, which runs the Coventry Group. The financial services company based in Fort Washington, Pa., buys life insurance policies from individuals and sells them as investment products.

    Reid Buerger, 37, joined the hospital’s board of trustees last fall.

    “We are incredibly appreciative to the Buerger family,” said Sullivan. “It’s a transformational gift for the children that we treat.”

    The facility will feature top-of-the-line systems. Among other things, it will also feature an expansive roof garden on the fifth floor for both rehab opportunities and fresh air.

    Sullivan says the center was designed with one thing in mind: The children who will go there to receive complex care, often for multiple appointments per visit.

    “This building will put the patient at the center of the experience,” Sullivan said, “and we look at that in terms of technology, in terms of the design of the building, in terms of just the aesthetics.”

    Initial announcement

    The building is located on the site of the former Civic Center, across from the main CHOP building in University City. This is the first time CHOP has announced the project, although the steel frame of several floors is already in place.

    Sullivan says it’s the single largest project CHOP has ever undertaken, from a cost perspective.

    “We’ve spent the better part of a decade designing this building and looking at other institutions and other hospital buildings around the country, and taking best practices from those buildings and then putting them in place with ours,” Sullivan said.

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