CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Pediatric heart patients will soon have a “next generation” outpatient clinic, thanks to a Carolina panther and a leading-area children’s hospital.
The Greg Olsen Foundation gifted a $2.5 million donation to help build “The HEARTest Yard Pediatric Center,” a pediatric cardiovascular and congenital heart outpatient clinic at Levine Children’s, according to Atrium Health.
The gift was announced following the HEARTest Yard Golf Classic fundraiser Wednesday night.
“Having a son with a congenital heart defect, they understood firsthand the special needs of these patients,” Atrium said of Greg Olsen and wife Kara. “In 2017, their vision, coupled with a $750,000 commitment, helped launch a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic at Levine Children’s. It is currently one of only a handful of such clinics in existence in the country.”
The Olsens started the HEARTest initiative in 2012, initially focusing on home health for children with congenital heart disease, Atrium says.
“There’s nothing like it in the southeast region of the United States,” Olsen said.
"While most know Greg Olsen as a Pro Bowl Tight End for the Carolina Panthers, we at Levine Children’s know him and his wife, Kara, as visionary leaders and champions for pediatric congenital heart disease,” president of Levine Children’s Stacy Nicholson said.
Four-thousand children are born with congenital heart disease each year, Atrium says, and 90-percent will survive, while 40-percent of survivors will face neurodevelopmental challenges.
Support from the Greg Olsen Foundation is expected to help families from birth through adulthood.
“This latest gift and the creation of the HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center at Levine Children’s will be a game changer for the children of the Carolinas,” Director of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Clinic Nancy Dobrolet said. “Thanks to the Olsens, and their many supporters, we can now provide the most comprehensive cardiac care in the country for young heart patients.”
Atrium says the HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center is scheduled to open in 2021 and will be housed in the Medical Center Plaza building near Levine Children’s Hospital.