LOS ANGELES In a special dedication ceremony last night, Children's Hospital Los Angeles honored Cheryl Saban, PhD, and Marion Anderson, who, along with their spouses Haim Saban and the late John E. Anderson, jointly funded the $10 million construction of an important pedestrian bridge over Sunset Boulevard in front of the hospital.
Prominent business leaders, philanthropists, elected officials and hospital staff, including L.A. City Controller and mayoral candidate, Wendy Gruel; L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky; Chief Executive Officer of the County of Los Angeles, William Fujioka; Angela Motta, senior field deputy from the office of Councilman Eric Garcetti; Mike Aguilera and Colleen Oinuma, district representatives from the office of Rep. Adam Schiff; Nora Gutierrez, field representative from the office of Senator Curren Price; and Co-chairs of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Board of Trustees, Ted Samuels and Cathy Siegel Weiss, joined in a celebration honoring the Sabans and Andersons recent contribution and continued hospital support. Following remarks from the two donor families, a special light show officially signaled the completion and opening of the bridge.
Conceptualized in 2010 by Dr. Saban and Mrs. Anderson, designed by Zimmer Gunsal Frasca Architects, and built by Rudolph and Sletten, construction on the bridge began January 2011. The 92-foot, 40-ton steel frame of the walkway was constructed off site and towed in 3/10 of a mile in October, with traffic control by the same firm that directed the Space Shuttle Endeavor's historical tour through Los Angeles.
The bridge officially opens today and will provide safe passage for the hundreds of hospital staff who cross Sunset Boulevard at all hours, 365 days a year. It also physically and symbolically unites the entire hospital campus, which spans both sides of Sunset Boulevard between Vermont and Hillhurst avenues.
This bridge not only serves an important purpose in providing safe passage across the street, it's a testament to the tremendous impact that the Sabans and Andersons have had on our hospital and the children we serve, says Richard D. Cordova, FACHE, president and CEO of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. On the north side of Sunset is the renowned Saban Research Institute, where physician-scientists are using cutting-edge research to end devastating pediatric diseases affecting children around the globe and right across the street in our Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion and outpatient clinics. As a prominent research hospital, our scientists and clinicians work side-by-side to bring the latest findings in the lab straight to the bedside and from the bedside back to the lab, so it's only fitting that now there is a physical link between the two institutions.
Along with her husband, Haim, Dr. Saban is a longtime supporter of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In 2003, the Sabans generously donated $40 million to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles Research Institutenow named The Saban Research Institute ”to support pediatric research. The following year they became founding members of the Children's Fund 100, a core group of donors who support the hospital's mission-based giving program, the Children's Fund, with pledges of $100,000 or more. In addition to serving as an honorary trustee, Dr. Saban is a member of the Research Committee.
Marion Anderson, Chair Emerita of the Children's Hospital Board of Trustees and former Co-chair of Living Proof: the Campaign for Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has served on the hospital's Board of Trustees since 1989, and guided the hospital through its most successful fundraising effort ever, helping raise nearly $1 billion to support the world-class pediatric medical facility. In 2011, a $50 million gift from the Andersons helped the hospital open the Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion, a six-story, state-of-the-art inpatient hospital that provides the region's highest quality health care for more than 11,000 children and families annually.