CHOC Media Release


$30 million estate gift accelerates CHOC’s vision
for transformational change

Orange, Calif., – February 24, 2011 – Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s) today announced it has received a $30 million estate gift – the largest gift in the hospital’s history.

This transformational gift from the estate of Robert L. Tidwell will honor the donor’s intent by using the funds to support the $125 million “Change CHOC, Change the World” campaign, which aims to make Orange County, Calif., one of the safest and healthiest places for children in the nation.

“This generous gift will help CHOC achieve various strategic objectives as we progress from being a crucial regional pediatric care center to one of the nation's leading children's hospitals,” said Kim Cripe, president and CEO of CHOC Children’s. “The funds will be balanced between our construction needs and investment in future growth and development.”

Specifically, the gift will be allocated as follows:

  • $15 million to support CHOC’s Master Campus Plan, which includes construction of a state-of-the-art, seven-story patient care tower set to open in Spring 2013. CHOC will recognize Robert L. Tidwell by naming the surgery center in the new patient care tower in his honor.
  • $15 million for a Board Restricted Fund to support CHOC’s vision and priorities by advancing pediatric medicine through clinical program development; recruiting leading pediatric experts (physicians, clinicians and researchers); and funding the Robert L. Tidwell Endowment for Ophthalmology.

The donor, Robert L. Tidwell, a long-time Garden Grove, Calif., resident left his entire estate to CHOC Children’s upon his passing in 2009. The gift was just recently transferred to the CHOC Children’s Foundation, which raises funds for the nonprofit pediatric healthcare system.

According to CHOC Children’s Foundation staff, Tidwell took a tour of CHOC some time before he passed away. During the tour, he appeared visibly moved and shared that he wanted his money to help children. He expressed his confidence in CHOC’s ability to use his money well.

“Mr. Tidwell’s legacy gift will improve the lives of children locally, nationally and globally for generations to come,” said Cripe.

With this major gift, CHOC Children’s is now two-thirds of the way toward its goal of raising $125 million for the campaign. While Tidwell’s extraordinary gift is very significant, CHOC still has $39 million remaining to reach its campaign goal by June 30, 2013.

“To help accomplish our vision for world-class pediatric healthcare, we invite the community to make donations of any size to the ‘Change CHOC, Change the World’ campaign,” said Tanya Lieber, vice president of the CHOC Children’s Foundation.

To learn more about ways to give to the campaign, call the Foundation at (714) 532-8690 or visit www.choc.org/giving .

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About CHOC Children’s

CHOC Children's is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional healthcare network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four centers of excellence - The CHOC Children’s Heart, Cancer, Neuroscience, and Orthopaedic Institutes.

Dedicated to the highest performance standards, CHOC earned the Silver Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest nursing honor bestowed to hospitals.  Recognized for an extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC is the first children’s hospital in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Excellence.

About the Change CHOC, Change the World Campaign

CHOC Children’s $125 million “Change CHOC, Change the World” campaign aims to make Orange County one of the safest and healthiest places for children in the nation. Specifically, the campaign will help CHOC realize its vision of achieving national recognition as a premier children's hospital by building a new pediatric care tower; establishing a substantial endowment to support recruiting more of the world’s top pediatric experts who can drive research and clinical breakthroughs; and building upon the academic and research affiliation with UC Irvine and its School of Medicine to advance innovative treatments and cures for children – locally and across the globe.
Media Contact: Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
D (714) 532-8680  | P (714) 275-1452
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CHOC Children's Foundation
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Orange, CA 92868
(714) 532-8690
Estate Gift Announcement Quotes

“This extraordinary, selfless gift from Robert L. Tidwell will help CHOC build the facilities and attract the doctors required to take its rightful place among our nation’s top children’s hospitals.”

Chris Furman, Chair
CHOC Children’s Foundation Board

“Robert L. Tidwell will forever be remembered at CHOC Children’s for his deep desire to help children. His generous support for this invaluable local asset will help make Orange County one of the safest communities for children in the nation.”

Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Honorary Chair
Change CHOC, Change the World Campaign

This legacy gift supports CHOC Children’s strategic vision to become a premier pediatric hospital. We are building a modern tower to enhance specialized care, working to build a significant endowment to better attract top pediatric subspecialty doctors, and building upon our affiliation with the University of California, Irvine to advance pediatric medicine and breakthrough cures to benefit children in Orange County and beyond.”

Mark Stevens, Chair
CHOC Children’s Board