Memorial Announces Major Gift to Children’s Hospital of Savannah

(October 8, 2015) – Officials with the Memorial Health Foundation announced today a $5 million naming gift to the Children’s Hospital of Savannah campaign from Dwaine and Cynthia Willett. In honor of their generous support, the name of the new facility will be the Dwaine and Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah.

“Memorial has been the leader in children’s healthcare in southeast Georgia since 1992, when it opened the region’s only dedicated children’s hospital in our main hospital building,” said Jackie Rabinowitz, Memorial Health Board Member and chair of the “Kid’s Only” capital campaign. “For many years we've wanted to build a freestanding hospital to better serve children on our campus, and this generous gift from the Willetts will help make this dream a reality.”

The Willetts have been loyal supporters of Memorial’s pediatric programs for many years. Mrs. Willett has been actively involved in the Children’s Hospital Charter Circle (for pediatric neurosurgery) and in fundraising for the “Kids Only” capital campaign for the Children’s Hospital of Savannah. She serves as a trustee of the Memorial Health Foundation and recently co-chaired the very successful Lowcountry Annie Oakleys Charity Clays for Children fundraiser.

“We are honored to continue our support of Memorial and to have the opportunity to donate to the new children’s hospital,” said Cynthia Willett. “My husband and I have a large family, and children’s causes have always been important to us.”

“It is our hope that the Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah will be our legacy, benefiting children in our communities for many years to come,” added Dwaine Willett.

The Children’s Hospital at Memorial provides care for approximately 70,000 children each year; more than 4,300 are inpatient admissions. The new freestanding facility will be located in the building that currently houses the Savannah Rehabilitation Hospital on Memorial’s campus and will consolidate all pediatric inpatient units, the pediatric intensive care unit, a four-room surgical suite, pediatric ancillary services, a 24-hour pediatric emergency department and family support space.

The Memorial Health Foundation launched a five-year, $20 million “Kids Only” capital campaign in February 2014. To date, the campaign has raised more than $15 million for the new children’s hospital facility. The Willett’s contribution marks the largest single gift to the campaign.

Memorial Health officials expect to begin construction on the Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah early next year with an expected completion date of spring 2017.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 604-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at facebook.com/memorialhealth, twitter.com/mymemorial, instagram.com/memorial_health, and youtube.com/memorialhealth.