A Legacy of Compassion
By Katie Sweeney and Marla Lehner
The Anderson Stewart Family Foundation’s recent $50 million gift continues a three-decade history of giving, helping to cement CHLA’s position as a leader in pediatric health care.
During her life, Marion Anderson loved being a part of tours of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Every time I visit Children’s Hospital, I want to reach out and help,” she once said.
Reach out and help is exactly what Marion and her husband, John E. Anderson, did at CHLA. Their extraordinary dedication over the course of three decades left a legacy of incredible philanthropy and leadership. And while both Marion and John have passed away, their family’s history of compassion not only lives on—it’s growing.
This year, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was honored to receive a visionary investment from the Anderson Stewart Family Foundation—a $50 million gift to advance CHLA’s commitment to world-class, family-centered pediatric care and further the hospital’s goal of providing a safety net for the most critically ill. With this gift, the family is the greatest single benefactor in the hospital’s history.
“Philanthropically, the Anderson family is devoted to improving the lives of others. Their years of support and leadership helped Children’s Hospital Los Angeles save hundreds of thousands of lives,” says CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano. “We are honored and humbled to receive this gift that will continue their legacy of creating a better future for the children of this world.”
The Anderson name is one that is familiar to every patient, parent, team member and visitor at the hospital. In 2011, the family made a $50 million gift to complete construction of a new, state-of-the-art hospital building: the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion.
"The entire Anderson family has always demonstrated true generosity of spirit by sharing ideas, inspiring others and leading by example, and for that reason we are so grateful for this gift."
—Jeffrey Worthe, Chair of the CHLA Board of Directors
But the family’s contributions extend even further. Marion served as a member of the CHLA Board of Trustees from 1989 until 2017. She co-chaired the Board from 1999 to 2012, leading the hospital during its most successful fundraising campaign to date and through a period that saw landmark shifts and significant expansion in the institution’s ability to deliver care.
John was the Founder and Chairman of Topa Equities Ltd. and a role model of corporate and community leadership. “Success,” he often said, “is living a life you can be proud of.”
The family’s latest gift is one more example of John’s humble philosophy.
“The Anderson family is honored to continue our family’s dedication and support of the important work of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” says Judy Munzig, the Andersons’ daughter and Chair of the Anderson Stewart Family Foundation. “The hospital’s steadfast devotion to its mission to provide worldclass care to critically ill children inspires us and makes us very proud to be among its supporters.”
The Anderson family is an integral part of the history—and future—of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The family’s transformational philanthropy, which includes more than $100 million to the hospital over the past 30 years, has been essential to the institution’s ability to fulfill its mission of creating hope and building healthier futures.
During its 118-year history, Children’s Hospital has evolved from a two-story house on Castelar Street that was a labor of love for dedicated volunteers and civic leaders into one of the country’s premier pediatric academic medical institutions.
Today, CHLA is ranked No. 1 in the Western U.S., No. 1 in California and a top-five children’s hospital nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. But CHLA has not accomplished this alone: The institution’s history is an ongoing story of exceptional clinicians, scientists, philanthropists, leaders and community members coming together to ensure world-class care for children and families.
The hospital’s legacy of providing the best care is matched only by its commitment to treating underserved children. A safety-net hospital, CHLA treats the most vulnerable members of the community, including critically ill children and those covered by Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program). Last year, half of all children hospitalized in Los Angeles County with a complex condition or a severe illness were admitted to CHLA.
Many of the vital services delivered at Children’s Hospital are not reimbursed or fully reimbursed by government or private insurance. Philanthropy helps make it possible for all CHLA patients to access the lifesaving care they need, and equips the institution’s physicians, researchers, nurses and other team members with the appropriate resources to provide that care.
Children and families rely on CHLA during some of the most difficult times of their lives. The Anderson Stewart Family Foundation’s latest gift helps Children’s Hospital to:
- Save and improve the lives of more children
- Conduct research that has ripple effects across the field of medicine
- Invest in innovative ideas and technology
- Expand capacity at the Sunset campus
- Build a network of caregivers in the community
- Educate pediatric care leaders who will extend our mission for generations to come
In 2011, CHLA opened the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, a gleaming facility that greatly expanded the hospital’s capacity to care for children. Now, the Anderson Stewart Family Foundation is making another investment in CHLA during a crucial time of rising demand for high-quality care.
"The Anderson family is honored to continue our family’s dedication and support of the important work of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The hospital’s steadfast devotion to its mission to provide world-class care to critically ill children inspires us and makes us very proud to be among its supporters."
—Judy Munzig, Chair of the Anderson Stewart Family Foundation and the Andersons’ daughter
In the eight years since the Anderson Pavilion opened, CHLA’s total patient visits have risen from 393,000 a year to nearly 568,000, which includes close to 100,000 visits to an Emergency Department that was built to handle 65,000.
Philanthropy contributes to every aspect of the unique care provided at Children’s L.A. Whether a child is undergoing lifesaving surgery, participating in a leading-edge clinical trial, receiving around-the-clock treatment in an intensive care unit, or having a follow-up visit at a CHLA specialty care center, that care has been impacted by the generosity of the hospital’s supporters. The institution is deeply grateful for the Anderson Stewart Family Foundation’s partnership and dedication to the community’s most precious resource: children.
“The entire Anderson family has always demonstrated true generosity of spirit by sharing ideas, inspiring others and leading by example, and for that reason we are so grateful for this gift,” says Jeffrey Worthe, Chair of the CHLA Board of Directors. “It vividly reflects the same heart and devotion for children that guided Marion and John as they supported our hospital over the years, and it allows Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to continue exemplifying that conviction of purpose for years to come.”
To help support Children's Hospital Los Angeles, please visit CHLA.org/Donate.