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DALLAS – Feb. 28, 2018 – The MMK Foundation, founded by Mark and Marcia King, has pledged $1 million to be split equally between Children’s Health℠ and UT Southwestern Medical Center for the purpose of enhancing the pediatric hospital’s neonatal ICU, furthering groundbreaking research at UT Southwestern and providing unrestricted funds for the critical needs of children.
It is the largest gift ever made by the MMK Foundation, which was established in 2007 to effect positive, sustainable change in the lives of children, citizens and communities globally.
“Providing these gifts fulfills our Foundation’s goals of addressing important issues that impact childhood development and the future of our community’s citizens,” said Mark King. “There is no better place to make an impact on a child than as a newborn in intensive care. Helping that child by helping him or her develop fully into a healthy adult is good for everyone.”
Marcia King added: “And funding medical research is a solid investment in the future for us all. UT Southwestern physician-scientists are among the best in the world, and we are pleased to play a small part in helping them push their ideas to the next level.”
The Kings and the MMK Foundation have a long history of giving generously to both institutions. At Children’s Health, the Kings are part of the Bradford Society, members of which have named Children’s Health as a beneficiary in their estate plans. They have also provided more than $250,000 in the last decade for patient electronics, entertainment and electronic technology advancements in Child Life, Gastroenterology and Endocrinology. At UT Southwestern, the Kings and MMK have supported health care research initiatives conducted by Dr. Jyothsna Gattineni, who is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern and a pediatric nephrologist at Children’s Health.
“We are grateful that the Kings have made an even deeper commitment to helping us make life better for children,” said Brent Christopher, President of Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “Their desire to help our tiniest, most vulnerable patients is indicative of their Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of children everywhere. The impact of this gift will be felt for generations.”
The Children’s Health 47-bed Level IV NICU serves as a regional referral center for lower-level NICUs. It was expanded in 2015 and includes state-of-the-art equipment and upgraded amenities for families. It provides neonatal support to outside obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists through the Children’s Health Fetal-Neonatal Program. This multidisciplinary team, including maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatric surgery, cardiology and other pediatric subspecialists, provides prenatal consults for patients with diagnoses of fetal anomalies or when a complex postnatal course is anticipated. All neonatologists are faculty at UT Southwestern, where the Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine has been a participating member in the National Institutes of Health Neonatal Research Network since its inception in 1986.
UT Southwestern is widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading centers for neonatal-perinatal care, teaching and research. The basic science and clinical investigation underway across UT Southwestern’s 15 pediatric divisions spans a wide range of topics, including gastroenterology, kidney disease, pulmonary vascular biology, neonatal resuscitation and long-term follow-up care.
“Support from philanthropists like Mark and Marcia King is critical to advancing the most promising research to address the unmet needs of children, including chronic kidney disease and digestive diseases,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern. “Because of their generosity, Dr. Jyothsna Gattineni and her UT Southwestern colleagues are able to accelerate their progress toward better treatment options and outcomes for newborns and provide much-needed hope for their families.”
About MMK Foundation
The MMK Foundation is a private, nonprofit 501(c) foundation that provides donations and partners with other nonprofit organizations and causes to support initiatives that enhance the lives of children, citizens and communities globally to achieve positive outcomes. The MMK Foundation’s efforts are focused on improving the lives of children through health, education and technology; helping individuals by providing necessary resources, skills and opportunities; and strengthening communities by responding in the time of extraordinary need and making investments and improvements in the environment and infrastructure. Based in Dallas, Texas, the MMK Foundation was established in 2007 by Mark and Marcia King. More information is available on the MMK Foundation at www.mmkfoundation.com.
About Children’s Medical Center Foundation
Children’s Medical Center Foundation serves as the fundraising arm for Children’s Health℠, the leading pediatric health system in North Texas. The Foundation works with individual donors, corporations and organizations to help the comprehensive team of physicians, scientists and medical professionals at Children’s Health fulfill its mission to make life better for children. Children’s Medical Center Foundation raises, manages and distributes funds to support Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Children’s Medical Center Plano, multiple specialty centers, Children’s Health Pediatric Group primary care practices, Our Children’s House rehabilitation facilities, home health, physician services and the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern. For more information, please visit give.childrens.com.