Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford Celebrates 25 Years of Innovation, Excellence and Care for Children and Expectant Mothers

* June 10 anniversary also kicks off a one-year countdown to the opening of a 520,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, new main building to further advance the preeminent pediatric and obstetric health system

25th Anniversary

For Release: May 10, 2016

STANFORD, Calif. — From the beginning, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford stood out. When it opened on June 10, 1991, it was one of very few children’s hospitals in America to incorporate both pediatrics and labor and delivery in one facility.

Now, 25 years later, the hospital is the centerpiece of a preeminent pediatric and obstetric health system that has 65 locations in the Bay Area. And, since 1991, the hospital and enterprise have logged more than 3 million clinic visits, 1600 solid organ transplants, 110,000 births – and found a permanent place on the U.S. News & World Report annual list of America’s best children’s hospitals.

The silver anniversary, one month from today, is a perfect time to look back on a remarkable period of extraordinary care – and look ahead to the 2017 premiere of a new main building for the pediatric and obstetric medical campus.

“From the start, our goal has been to fulfill the vision of Lucile Salter Packard, our generous founder and visionary for children’s health,” said Christopher G. Dawes, president and CEO, who has led the hospital and enterprise since 1997 and was previously chief operating officer. “She planned a very nurturing environment, one that would make possible medical breakthroughs for our children, our grandchildren and the children of the future.”

“I remember opening day just like it was yesterday,” recalled renowned neonatologist and researcher David Stevenson, MD, professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Stevenson helped plan and open the hospital, where he’s still treating and saving premature infants. “It was really exciting to see the whole community come out to celebrate. Their support has played a huge role in our tremendous impact.”

Lucile Packard, long an advocate for the health of children and expectant mothers, unfortunately passed away before the hospital’s début. She and husband David Packard founded the hospital with a $40 million donation in 1986. “Her magnificent spirit still guides everything we do,” said Dawes. “She would have loved this place and all we’ve achieved.

Those achievements include a series of notable breakthroughs in academic and clinical excellence. Some highlights:

  • Launch of the 1st mobile clinic program in America specifically targeting underserved adolescents
  • Development of a non-steroid, immune-suppressing drug regimen for organ transplant recipients
  • Open-heart surgery on the youngest and smallest infant ever to undergo such an operation
  • Groundbreaking improvements in pregnancy and newborn care
  • Leadership in pre-term birth research
  • Pioneering food allergy research
  • Studies focused on eradicating disease for children around the world
  • Recognition as #1 in the U.S. in solid organ transplant volume

Discover more at

Becoming one of the nation’s elite children’s hospitals has long been a collaborative effort with the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford University, and the top minds in Silicon Valley, all “tremendous drivers of our innovation and achievements,” Dawes said.

Dawes also saluted the unwavering generosity of donors through the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, and the extraordinary support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “They’ve helped propel every element of our success.” And through aggressive outreach and advocacy, the hospital and enterprise have become leaders in community service – and providing care regardless of a family’s ability to pay.

“I know my mother would be extraordinarily proud of everything Lucile Packard Children's Hospital stands for,” said Susan Packard Orr, vice chair of the hospital’s board of directors. “The breakthrough discoveries, the community service, the family centered approach and such great care are exactly what she wanted this hospital to be.”

Expanding access to meet demand

“Major advances in patient care mean that more children today are living into adulthood with serious and chronic diseases that would have been fatal 15-25 years ago,” said Christy Sandborg, MD, pediatric rheumatologist and professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine. “There’s an increasing demand for more space to care for these kids and families.”

That’s why Packard Children's Hospital will début in the summer of 2017 a new centerpiece for the pediatric and obstetric medical campus – a $1.1 billion expansion that adds 521,000 square feet of building space and 149 patient beds. The project will create America’s most technologically advanced, family-friendly and environmentally sustainable hospital for children and expectant mothers.

“The hospital’s expansion signals its continued dedication to the sickest patients, and illustrates the essential role children's hospitals play in our health care system," said Mark Wietecha, president and CEO of the Children's Hospital Association in Washington, D.C.

The hospital’s influence expanded further in 2012, and in a way no one could have predicted back in 1991. “We launched a new, integrated network called Stanford Medicine Children’s Health,” said Dawes. The network, with the hospital as centerpiece, now has 65 locations in Northern California and 100 locations in the Western United States. “It was our response to a changing health care environment and consumers’ increased demand for high-quality services, like those at Stanford Medicine, to be available closer to their homes.”

That model, providing everything from routine check-ups to advanced treatment, has been a runaway success. Together with the hospital, this comprehensive health system receives more than 500,000 clinic visits a year.

The next 25

As the pediatric and obstetric teaching hospital of the School of Medicine, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and Stanford Medicine Children’s Health will continue to have access to the top minds in science, research and innovation.

“For the past 25 years, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has helped to lead the world in advancing pediatric research, care, and training, for the benefit of countless children,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “As an integral part of Stanford Medicine, the hospital will remain indispensable to our overarching vision for precision health, through which we win the race against childhood and adult disease before it even begins — preventing conditions before they strike and curing them decisively if they do."

Those cures are poignantly illustrated in stories of lives saved. For instance, 5-month-old Liam Luna of San Jose, California, recently became the first baby in the world successfully treated with prenatal maternal hyper-oxygenation for his rare heart defect. His parents were thrilled to take him home with a great prognosis. And the family of Elliot Loh, age 7, is so happy that he was successfully treated for a brain tumor at Packard Children’s that they return to the U.S. every year from China for a reunion with their care team.

“In the end, it’s stories like these that best represent how our staff is fulfilling the vision of our beloved founder,” Dawes said. “Lucile Packard inspires our past, present, and future, and we think she’d be very proud of everything we done.”

* Find out more about our expanding pediatric and obstetric medical campus at

* In addition, adult care is being advanced through the new Stanford Hospital, which will be premiering in 2018.


Samantha Dorman
(650) 498-7056

About Stanford Medicine Children's Health

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford at its center, is the Bay Area’s largest health care system exclusively dedicated to children and expectant mothers. Our network of care includes more than 65 locations across Northern California and more than 85 locations in the U.S. Western region. Along with Stanford Health Care and the Stanford School of Medicine, we are part of Stanford Medicine, an ecosystem harnessing the potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education, and clinical care to improve health outcomes around the world. We are a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the community through meaningful outreach programs and services and providing necessary medical care to families, regardless of their ability to pay. Discover more at