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Wow!  Today marks an incredible milestone as we celebrate the formal transfer of your new regional children’s hospital from benefactors Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood to the Capital & Coast District Health Board. 

Mark and Dorothy’s unprecedented generosity is deeply appreciated and came at a critical time for our region.  Without them, a new hospital would have been many years away and sick children, their families and our hospital’s medical teams would have continued to struggle in a building that was broken and unfit for purpose.

Mark and Dorothy’s extraordinary gift of $50 million to build and donate a new world-class children’s hospital to our region is a unique philanthropic model, and a true legacy.  It has also allowed our medical teams to be involved in every step of the design and build process.  The outcome is a smart, resilient and purpose-built paediatric hospital that for the first time allows the many child health teams to be located under the same roof.

Fionnagh Dougan (CEO,CCDHB), Hon Grant Robertson (Deputy Prime Minister), Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood (Benefactors), Stacey Shortall (Deputy Chair, CCDHB Board), Dr Andrew Marshall (Clinical Leader Child Health, CCDHB), Bill Day (WHF Chair)

When does the new hospital open to patients?

While the building has formally transferred to the CCHDB, there is still much work for the CCDHB and Foundation to do.  We continue to need your help to raise the $10 million needed to outfit and equip the interior of this stunning new building.  This includes funding specialised medical equipment, as well as all the fittings, furnishings, communications, digital and creative aspects of this new purpose built children’s hospital.  

We’ve had incredible support from children, their families, caring corporates, community groups and grant providers.  Our sincerest thanks to you all, because each one, big and small, takes us closer to our goal.

And with just over $8 million raised that goal is well within reach!

While Mark and Dorothy have completed the build, the new hospital was designed in a pre-COVID world, and the opening of Te Wao Nui to the public will take place later than originally planned.  The CCHDB have advised that they intend to undertake additional works to the building to maximise the opportunities presented by lessons learned from COVID-19.  These changes, particularly those related to air-handling systems, will enhance our hospital’s ability to care for children with RSV, COVID-19, or other respiratory-type illnesses and will make us more resilient for future outbreaks. 

It is a privilege to represent our donors in this journey towards a stunning new regional children’s hospital, and I’m sure you’ll join me in expressing our enormous thanks to Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood today.

Bill Day MNZM, JP

Chair, Wellington Hospitals Foundation