Dean Foods and Alliance Data CEOs Support Children's

August 28, 2011

As parents of young children and CEOs of two of the largest public companies in the Dallas area, Gregg Engles and Ed Heffernan understand the importance of having nationally recognized pediatric health care resources in our community. Both men have recently made significant corporate and personal commitments to help Children’s Medical Center maintain and enhance its position as the premier pediatric health care provider in North Texas and beyond.

Dean Foods

Dean Foods Foundation pledged $1.25 million over the next five years to establish a lead endowment to advance Children’s extensive basic science, translational and clinical research initiatives. With this gift, Dean Foods Foundation becomes Children’s largest corporate partner with total giving in excess of $2.5 million.

“We support health and wellness every day through the nutritious products we make, and we share Children’s commitment to kids and families,” said Gregg Engles, chairman and CEO of Dean Foods Company, a leading dairy and beverage company headquartered in Dallas, and a member of the Children’s Board of Directors. “The Dean Foods Foundation is proud to partner with Children’s Medical Center as it advances pediatric research and brings new medical discoveries to kids across North Texas and beyond for years to come.”

Alliance Data

Alliance Data has committed to a $600,000 increase in a previous gift to the Children’s Legacy campus and the Injury Prevention Program, bringing their total gift to more than $1.1 million.

“Our latest financial commitment aligns our corporate giving strategy with the charitable causes that our associates stand behind. As a corporate citizen of Plano, we want to support the continued expansion of Children’s Legacy campus to provide convenient access to specialty pediatric care for our associates’ kids as well as others in the northern section of the region,” said Ed Heffernan, president and CEO of Alliance Data. “Through our financial support and associate volunteerism, we hope to enhance the quality and scope of Children’s programs throughout the region.”

Collaboration Launches Corporate Partnership Initiative

In addition to their financial contributions, both Engles and Heffernan have been vocal about their support of Children’s and their efforts to build a broader base of corporate donors. Their collaboration launches a Corporate Partners Initiative for Children’s that is designed to foster peer-to-peer conversations with senior executives of some of the leading companies in North Texas.

“We are deeply grateful to Gregg and Ed for their leadership and generosity to our hospital system,” said Christopher J. Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s. “Through their partnerships with Children’s, both Dean Foods and Alliance Data have become credible role models for North Texas companies who want to foster the best opportunities for the next generation.”

Hospital System Touches Many Families

Locally, Dean Foods and Alliance Data employ nearly 2,000 associates, many of whom have personally accessed care for their families at Children’s. All totaled, Children’s had 570,000 patient visits in 2010. The hospital system touches the lives of families associated with virtually every major company in the region each year.

“A strong collaboration between our corporate community and our hospital is a win-win for Dallas, for regional companies and their employees, and most of all for the children and families who depend on us in their times of greatest need,” said Pete Kline, president of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation.

“A look at the top 30 Dallas area public companies shows that each one has approximately 60 employees whose children accessed care at Children’s – more than 1,770 total – and many of these cases involve specialties that are not available in other area hospitals,” Kline explained. “When you look at the five largest banks in the Dallas area, for example, more than 1,200 employees’ children have received care at our hospital in the past year.”

U.S. News & World Report

Children’s has again been named one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country, according to U.S.News & World Report. It is the only hospital in North Texas, and one of only two in the state of Texas, to be ranked in 10 pediatric specialties. Over the past five years, Children’s has recruited more than 350 new pediatric specialists and sub-specialists to Dallas to build the most comprehensive pediatric medical staff in North Texas. More than 500 open heart surgeries are performed at the hospital each year, and one in four new childhood cancer cases in Texas is treated at Children’s.

Investment in Science, People and Facilities

“As the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country, the Dallas-Ft. Worth area needs and deserves one of the nation’s very best pediatric medical institutions,” said Durovich. “To be among the very best requires massive investment in science, people and facilities, and no academic medical center can succeed without significant philanthropic support from individuals, foundations and the local corporate community. This will become even more important as we face the realities of the state and federal budget cuts in the current legislative sessions.

“Both Gregg and Ed bring great access and credibility to a discussion of the importance of outstanding pediatric medicine in our community and the pressing need for philanthropic support in order to be among the best in the nation,” said Durovich.

Corporate Commitments

The Corporate Partners Initiative is targeted at companies that are headquartered here or that have very large employee bases in the community. The goal is to attract 25 corporate commitments of $1 million or more to fund enhanced clinical programs, the recruitment of pediatric sub-specialists and research programs at Children’s. Corporate pledges may be paid over a five-year period. Both Gregg Engles and Ed Heffernan are challenging other like-minded companies and their executives to step up and contribute to Children’s.

“When you consider the breadth and depth of services that Children’s provides to so many families across our region, it is clear that the corporate community must get behind it,” said Engles. “There is no cause more worthy than investing in the health of future generations.”

There are numerous opportunities for Dallas area companies to support Children’s, both through financial commitments and through volunteer efforts. Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities include the Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, the Red Balloon Run & Relay, the Children Helping Children Tennis Tournament and the annual Christmas is for Children Radiothon broadcast on CBS Radio stations 103.7 lite fm and MEGA 107.5. Other major corporate supporters of Children’s, through annual events, sponsorships and campaigns include Capital One Bank, InTouch Credit Union, Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy, Wal-Mart and Kohl’s.

For more information about how your company can get involved, contact us at 214-456-8460.


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