San Diego's Rady Children's Hospital is going to get a state-of-the art, "top to bottom transformation," thanks to a $200 million gift from Ernest and Evelyn Rady. The couple made the historical donation for technology upgrades, campus planning, and to better innovate care for children in the hospital's region. The donation is the fourth-largest to a hospital dating back to the 2000s. Ernest Rady said:
"This is very emotional for me. I'm not sure if it's emotional because I'm parting with all this dough, which makes me want to cry or it makes me want to cry because of all the people we're going to help. This is really my wife's instigation, as much as mine, is to give it to help other people."
San Diego former billionaire Ernest Rady earned his fortune through real estate development and investments in the financial services industry. Why is he a former billionaire? Because in the last two decades, Mr. Rady has given away a ton of money. At one time, his net worth peaked at $2 billion, today it isn't even over a billion. Rady's philanthropy mainly focuses on helping sick children. To-date, he has given over nearly $400 million to create and support San Diego's Rady Children's Hospital. Yes, it is named after him. It is the largest children's hospital in California and one of the most admired health institutions of its kind in the world. Back in 2014, he and his wife donated $120 million to establish a genomics institute at the Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego.
Rady and his wife Evelyn were born in Canada but have made their home in San Diego since 1966, when Ernest founded American Assets Trust, a real estate investment trust. He was also the founder of Insurance Company of the West, which was bought for $3.9 billion by Wachovia in 2006.
Patrick A. Frias, MD, Rady Children's Hospital President and CEO said:
"This historic investment will transform our physical campus and enable Rady Children's to pursue a rigorous campus redesign to seamlessly integrate the latest technology into clinical care, allow us to expand to meet the pediatric health care needs of our region and beyond, and support the health and well-being of our patients, families, and staff in a caring and innovative environment.
"The launch of this master planning process is at an inflection point in the hospital's seven decades of providing consistently excellent and selectively distinctive care to children in our community. The Radys' investment will allow us to thoughtfully look at how best Rady Children's can continue to serve children and their families for the next 70 years," chairman of Rady Children's Board of Trustees, S. Douglas Hutcheson said.
Ernest and Evelyn Rady hope their donation will inspire the community to continue investing in "keeping kids healthy." "Our most vulnerable population deserves strong advocates. It's up to our community to make sure every child has the best possible care available," Ernest Rady said. "Evelyn and I have gotten a great deal of pride and satisfaction from the wonderful care that the people at Rady Children's Hospital have provided to the children of our community."