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Kenneth and Anne Griffin give $16 million to Children's Memorial Hospital

Kenneth Griffin and his wife, Anne, will give $16 million to the new Children's Memorial Hospital to establish an emergency care center that will be named after the hedge fund managers.

The Kenneth and Anne Griffin Foundation's commitment, disclosed Wednesday, is the latest large gift toward the hospital, which will be named after Ann and Robert Lurie. Ann Lurie gave $100 million last year.

Children's Memorial CEO Patrick Magoon said the hospital has $150 million left to raise for the project, which is estimated to cost more than $900 million.

Kenneth Griffin is the billionaire founder of Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group; his wife runs a smaller hedge fund, Aragon Global Management. The Griffins' foundation was established last year, said Anne Griffin, who joined the hospital's board in 2005 and is a member of the hospital's investment committee.

"We started the foundation for two reasons. No. 1, given the toughness of the economic climate, we wanted to make sure we were contributing here and now, because the rainy day is now," she said. "And we also felt it was important to make a difference immediately, rather than at the end of our lives, if you will."

The foundation and the Griffins' personal gifts have largely focused on children's issues, specifically education. When asked why they decided to fund the emergency room, Anne Griffin described it as the hospital's "control tower," where seriously ill children get "on the right track."

Children's plans to open the facility by summer 2012, when it will relocate from the Lincoln Park neighborhood to Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, east of Michigan Avenue. Children's has outgrown its more than 50-year-old Lincoln Park facilities, forcing staff to turn away more than 200 children a year. The new hospital will be larger, with 288 beds and the ability to expand to more than 310 beds.

Magoon said that all board members were expected to give to the hospital's capital campaign, but the Griffins gave to this "magnitude" because they believe it will make a difference. The donation is the fifth largest in the hospital's history.

mmharris@tribune.com

bjapsen@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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