The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh Achieves $12 Million Goal through the Make an Amazing Difference Campaign

Updated on December 2, 2016

Funds support community needs for children with special needs and their families

The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh, an independent, nonprofit  leader in pediatric rehabilitative services, announced that it has successfully achieved its goal of raising $12 million through the Make an Amazing Difference Campaign.  Publicly launched in 2014, the Campaign supports a series of strategic initiatives that are improving the health and quality of life for larger numbers of children and youth with special needs and their families.

“Through the Campaign, we’ve been able to make strategic investments in innovative programs and services that respond to real community needs,” said Michael and Judy Hannon, Chairs of the Make an Amazing Difference Campaign.

“We have made an amazing difference for our kids and their families, specifically in the areas of pediatric behavioral health, care coordination and our transition program in The Day School, as well as via facility upgrades on our main campus,” noted the Hannons.

The Children’s Institute defined the strategic initiatives of the Make an Amazing Difference Campaign after a comprehensive assessment of needs in the communities they serve.   The strategic initiatives identified include: expanding behavioral health services for children and youth with developmental disabilities, improving access to The Children’s Institute’s expertise across distances through telepresence, easing the transition to services after age 21 for students in The Day School, coordinating care for children with complex medical conditions and capital enhancements to the Squirrel Hill campus.

Together, these key priorities required a strategic investment of $12 million – an investment that has already brought an enormous return in lives made better through the following outcomes:

·         The Children’s Institute opened its new, 16-bed behavioral health inpatient unit in June 2016 to serve children with urgent behavioral health needs who also have a developmental disability, chronic or complex medical condition.

·         Through its telepresence program, The Children’s Institute now provides telepsychiatry services to behavioral health patients who cannot travel to its Squirrel Hill campus. It also hosts Prader-Willi syndrome training conferences and foster parent support groups.

·         The Day School’s new Transition Program directly exposes its students, beginning at age five, to learning experiences in the community that help them turn what they learn in the classroom into life skills, which increases opportunities for post-graduation placements and competitive employment.

·         The Campaign made possible capital improvements including the integration of the latest architectural technology to maximize security at the Squirrel Hill campus.

·         The Children’s Institute’s Care Coordination Program began enrolling patients in summer 2014 and has served over 300 children with complex medical conditions by improving their healthcare while reducing costs. 

The Campaign reached its $12 million goal this fall through gifts and pledges from 350 donors including lead gifts from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust and the Allegheny Foundation. The Children’s Institute’s Board of Directors, Associate Board, leadership, staff and volunteers also made substantial contributions to the Campaign.

Along with Campaign Chairs Michael and Judy Hannon, Dick, Ginny and Peter Thornburgh served as Honorary Chairs of the Campaign. Clint and Karla Hurdle served as Honorary Event Chairs for the Make an Amazing Difference Campaign closing event held on November 1, 2016 at The Pittsburgh Golf Club. The event was sponsored by the Nimick Forbesway Foundation, a generous and longtime supporter of The Children’s Institute (photos from the event are enclosed).

The Children’s Institute will continue to build on this success through the strategic direction of Vision 2018, which will carry on the creation of new programs and services, revitalization of existing programs and geographic expansion.  Through this framework for the future, The Children’s Institute will maintain its role as a leader in innovative and integrated care and education delivery models for children and youth with special needs and their families.   

About The Children’s Institute

Established in 1902, The Children’s Institute is an independent, nonprofit, licensed organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for children, young people and their families by providing a specialized continuum of services that enables them to reach their potential. Its pediatric rehabilitation programs are nationally-recognized. The Children’s Institute is the only CARF-accredited freestanding pediatric specialty rehabilitation hospital in the region, and one of only five in the nation. The Day School is an approved private school serving nearly 200 students from 67 school districts. Through Project STAR, The Children’s Institute offers a wide array of family-centered adoption and foster care services. Visit or call 412-420-2400 to learn more.

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