The MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach Foundation invited generous donors of the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village to an exclusive reception to be recognized and tour the Children’s Village for the first time since its opening in February 2021.
The Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village was built to provide pediatric patients with outpatient services of nine different specialties, all under one roof. Since its opening, it has seen over 17,000 clinic visits, 9,000 radiology patients and 21,500 rehab patients.
The Children’s Village was named after donor Chris Laulhere’s daughter, Cherese Laulhere. Chris chose to donate in Cherese’s memory as a testament to Cherese’s lifelong goal of helping children. Chris has supported Miller Children’s & Women’s in the past with donations to the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center and Cherese Mari Laulhere Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
“Once this opportunity was presented to us, I knew in my heart that this would be Cherese’s Village,” says Laulhere. “We want everyone to know Cherese like we did, as a compassionate, non-judgmental person who wanted to make a difference and help children.”
To kick off the night, Rob Gunsalus, president, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Foundation, gave a brief speech thanking everyone who came in support of the new outpatient center. He thanked Chris with a bouquet of Cherese’s favorite flowers and expressed his gratitude toward all the donors who helped make the Children’s Village a reality.
“All of us who live here are very fortunate that previous visionary medical and community leaders invested their careers, time and philanthropy to create this wonderful gift of health care for the region,” Gunsalus said. “Thanks to all of you, the effort to provide the best care possible for our community continues.”
After the opening ceremony, a brand new, kid-friendly donor wall with every donor’s name was revealed. Donors were also invited to take self-guided tours of the first, second and third floors. Each floor housed a directory that listed the names of the donors who helped make the rooms possible, and a doctor or director for each specialty to talk about their work or answer any questions donors had.
The Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village provides more than 30 different types of specialty of physicians and various medical services in one place to make health care more convenient and efficient for children and families around the region. 65,000 children are assisted in Miller Children’s & Women’s outpatient specialty centers each year, and the Village anticipates assisting 20% more children in the next four years.