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Topping Out the American Family Children's Hospital Expansion

Rich Lynch and Donna Katen-Bahensky sign the topping off tree.Madison, Wisconsin – The small balsam fir on the construction beam was attached to the crane and rose to American Family Children’s Hospital’s eighth floor, “topping out” the hospital’s two-floor expansion as its “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” fundraising blitz concluded.

Both the hospital’s physical structure and the generosity of those who gave to support its mission and expansion simultaneously reached new heights.

Hoisted to the top of the hospital structure, the topping-out tree came to rest near the spot where 26 acute care beds, two new operating rooms, a state-of-the-art pediatric hybrid catheterization interventional radiology laboratory and a pediatric imaging suite will soon be available to meet Dane County’s rapidly expanding pediatric health care needs.

A Findorff employee oversees the raising of the topping off tree at American Family Children's Hospital.“This is a very important moment in the history of American Family Children’s Hospital,” said UW Hospital and Clinics President and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky, who spoke at the ceremony. “Children will be given an opportunity for a future they may not have otherwise envisioned.”

That opportunity is bolstered by the success of the “Double Your Impact” arm of the Children’s Hospital’s “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” fundraising campaign. From December 1, 2012 through February 28, 2013, every dollar donated to “Sick Kids Can’t Wait” was matched by a group of children’s hospital supporters, including UW Credit Union.

Katen-Bahensky announced that $1.05 million was raised during that time. With the matching funds from hospital donors, the total impact was $2.09 million toward the children’s hospital expansion.

Rich Lynch, chairman of J.H. Findorff and Sons, was on hand to oversee the topping off and has been integral to the Children’s Hospital’s construction effort since its 2007 genesis.

“This is a very special place,” said Lynch, who, with Flad Development and Investment president John Flad serves as co-chair of the American Family Children’s Hospital advisory committee. “One thing I’ve learned after working the physicians and the nurses and the staff here is the level of care at this hospital is unsurpassed. Everyone I talk to talks about the family-based care, how they’re well-informed and all involved in decision-making. They do miracles here. Unfortunately there will be more miracles needed, but we have the people here to do it.”


Date Published: 03/04/2013