The University of Rochester Medical Center has received a $5 million gift from Georgia Gosnell and her late husband, Thomas, to name the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the new Golisano Children’s Hospital, university officials announced Friday.
The gift also will create two professorships within UR’s school of medicine and dentistry, one in quality and safety and the other in palliative care.
“Georgia and Thomas have been great friends of the university—and countless other Rochester institutions—for many years,” said Joel Seligman, UR president. “This gift and the new professorships they have created are part of their incredible philanthropic legacy.”
The $5 million commitment will help fund the hospital’s new Gosnell Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, which is to include 60 beds, in the new building along with the current NICU space on the third floor of Strong Memorial Hospital.
The Gosnell NICU in the new building will provide intensive care to the region’s sickest babies in private rooms, UR officials said. The current space will be renovated to deliver highly specialized care for babies who need less acute treatment.
“There are few ways to make a greater impact on a community’s future health than by ensuring babies the best start they can have in life, and the Gosnells’ gift is going to help us do just that,” URMC CEO Bradford Berk said.
Gosnell said she was inspired by her own experiences in childbirth. Her two girls were born very small nearly 60 years ago at Strong, before the NICU existed. Elizabeth Gosnell Miller had an especially difficult birth in 1962, Georgia Gosnell recalled.
“Her heartbeat had stopped, so they did an emergency caesarian,” Gosnell said. “She had the umbilical cord around her neck six times, which was a record.”
The gift is one of the largest the Golisano Children’s Hospital’s $100 million campaign has received since its public launch in October 2011, UR officials said. The campaign is part of the URMC’s $650 million campaign and the overall $1.2 billion goal of the Meliora Challenge: The Campaign for the University of Rochester.
“Without forward-thinking philanthropists like Georgia and Tom Gosnell, we wouldn’t be breaking ground on a new children’s hospital tailored to the needs of families of today and tomorrow,” said Nina Schor, William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief of Golisano Children’s Hospital. “‘Grateful’ doesn’t begin to describe how we feel about Georgia’s generosity to our region’s most fragile babies.”
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