1980: Expanding to Meet the Health Care Needs of North Texas


kidney transplant anniversary
Children’s celebrated the fifth anniversary of its first kidney transplant in 1980 with a reunion for transplant patients.
kidney transplant anniversary
In 1984, 2-year-old Melissa Lively became the first child in Texas to receive a transplanted liver.

In 1979, the medical center launched an ambitious $10 million capital campaign to increase the number of beds, add a transport service and outpatient space. The project’s scope grew to include centers for hemophiliacs and epilepsy patients, new outpatient facilities for kids with heart problems, more space for day surgery and dialysis, and a new pulmonary lab. The $17 million hospital expansion was completed in 1984, with the transport team forming in 1989. It later became certified in ground, helicopter and fixed wing.

In 1984, 2-year-old Melissa Lively became the first child in Texas to receive a transplanted liver. The program at Children’s – the first pediatric-only liver transplant program in the nation – was established in collaboration with UT Southwestern using a grant from the Crystal Charity Ball. Today, Children’s has one of the busiest organ transplant programs in the country.

Most federal research dollars are used to study adult medical conditions. In 1987, Children’s and UT Southwestern launched the pediatric General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) to encourage research into treatments and cures for childhood diseases. At the time, the GCRC was one of only 14 pediatric research centers in the nation recognized by the National Institutes of Health.

red balloon was adopted
The red balloon was adopted as the hospital’s official logo in 1988.

Children's celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1988 with the launch of a $15 million Diamond Jubilee Capital Campaign. Proceeds from the campaign, raised in part through the efforts of the medical center’s new fundraising arm, the Children’s Medical Foundation of Texas, partially funded a 72-bed inpatient tower, a pediatric intensive care unit, enhanced emergency facilities, additional laboratories and other support services.

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