The Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation recently made a transformational gift to name and provide program support for the future Children’s Village at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. When complete in 2021, the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village will be an 80,000 sq. ft., four-story building on the Miller Children’s & Women’s campus that provides a one-stop-shop approach to pediatric specialty care in an outpatient setting.
The gift is the largest commitment the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation has ever made and the largest gift received by the Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach Foundation. It is also the lead gift in the Miller Children’s & Women’s $60 million campaign launched in August 2018.
“The Children’s Village has been a decades long dream for Miller Children’s & Women’s, so to have the support of the Laulhere family to not only realize our dream but sustain it for generations of children to come is incredible,” says John Bishop, CEO, Miller Children’s & Women’s.
Born at Miller Children’s & Women’s in 1974, the late Cherese Mari Laulhere spent her life giving back to her community. While attending college, she learned about the Semester at Sea Program, which led her on a trip to India. While there, her life was tragically taken in a bus accident at 21-years-old. Her legacy and loving heart lives on through the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation.
“Our family generously donated to the Children’s Village in memory of Cherese’s hopes and dreams of helping children,” says Chris Laulhere, Cherese’s mother. “She was always very grateful for her family and friends, had so much compassion for others and had a very loving heart.”
Each year, Miller Children’s & Women’s sees 65,000 children in its outpatient specialty centers across the region. Currently, Miller Children’s & Women’s has seven medical office locations across Long Beach. The Children’s Village will bring the services from all seven locations into one building.
At the Children’s Village, children will be seen for a variety of reasons – from a one-time consultation to follow-up care for a wide range of health conditions requiring specialized pediatric care.
Cherese’s donation will strengthen current programs offered at Miller Children’s & Women’s, including the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, which the Foundation also has generously endowed.
Each year, thousands of families receive support from the Child Life Program, and with the endowment, this number is expected to nearly double to 10,000 in the Children’s Village.
“Children’s health care is unique, and the ongoing support of Cherese and her family allow our clinical teams to continue to provide the unique care that thousands of children across our region need,” says Sharon Thornton, president, Miller Children’s & Women’s Foundation.
The Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation has been a decades-long supporter of Miller Children’s & Women’s previously making donations to support the Cherese Mari Laulhere Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Imaging Center, among others.
To learn more about Cherese Mari Laulhere, visit Cherese.org.