Gary C. Comer, founder of Lands' End, Inc., the mail-order clothing manufacturer, and his wife Frances have made a $21 million gift to the University of Chicago Hospitals. The gift will go toward construction of the Comer Children's Hospital, which is slated to begin in fall of 2001 and is projected to cost $130 million.
The 242,000 square-foot, 155-bed facility will provide an ultra-modern child-friendly setting for all in-patient children's health services at the University of Chicago Hospitals, including nationally recognized programs in cardiology, neurology, transplantation, and other medical and surgical specialties.
For their part, hospital officials plan to integrate advanced technology with the family-centered, kid-friendly philosophy embraced by the University of Chicago Children's Hospital. Patient rooms will be big enough to accommodate family members, and there will be more common spaces — including sleeping areas, kitchens, and laundry facilities — for visiting families.
The Comers' gift matches the largest donation ever received by the University of Chicago Hospitals and is the fourth-largest gift ever made to a U.S. children's hospital.
"We are tremendously grateful for the extraordinary commitment that Gary and Frances Comer have made to the well-being of children," said University of Chicago Hospitals president Ralph Muller. "Their generous gift guarantees that the University of Chicago will remain at the forefront of children's medicine. Comer Children's Hospital will provide the best possible setting for superb patient care, pediatric research and training."