By Kathy Isdale
Building on an enterprising and inspiring history of providing for Houston’s most fundamental needs, CenterPoint Energy, Inc., has made a corporate commitment of $100,000 to the Heal Sick Children campaign to help build Texas Children’s new maternity center.
CenterPoint President David McClanahan says, “We view supporting Texas Children’s Hospital as a natural fit for us. We know our gift will help bring state-of-the-art medicine to children and families and, at the same time, further enhance Houston’s reputation as one of the nation’s top medical centers. Having Texas Children’s Hospital in our community significantly enhances Houston’s image as an attractive place to live and work.”
From its roots as Houston’s first gas supplier in 1866, CenterPoint has grown up with the city. Now a Fortune 500 utility with customers from Texas to Minnesota, the company has contributed generously to Texas Children’s over the years, particularly through high-level sponsorships of special events. CenterPoint employees have a special enthusiasm for the hospital's annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament that raises significant funds for Texas Children’s Newborn Center as well as the new maternity facility.
“CenterPoint’s outstanding gift for our new maternal and newborn health center will help us take the next step toward caring, not only for the babies in our NICU, but also for their mothers, particularly those in difficult and complex pregnancies,” says Mark A. Wallace, Texas Children’s president and chief executive officer.
According to Wallace, the new center will combine advanced treatments and technology in a warm, patient-focused environment designed to maximize the care of mother, baby and families. Opening in 2011/2012, the 15-story facility will eventually have the capacity to deliver as many as 5,000 babies a year.
Gary Whitlock, CenterPoint’s chief financial officer, says, “Companies like CenterPoint Energy and hospitals like Texas Children’s have one important thing in common—we’re more than just businesses; we’re institutions that are part of the fabric of our community. Institutions like ours are tremendously important to the life and vitality of our city, so part of being a good corporate citizen to us means supporting organizations like Texas Children’s Hospital.”
Both McClanahan and Whitlock have participated in the Bad Pants Open for years. Whitlock chaired the event last fall, when his team garnered honors for “baddest” pants.
“As corporate leaders, we have tremendous appreciation for everything Texas Children’s does for our community, but Texas Children’s also means a lot to me personally,” says Whitlock. “As a father and a grandfather, I have personally experienced the warmth, compassion and sense of service that defines the hospital. It gives me great comfort to know Texas Children’s Hospital is there for the families in our community.” McClanahan adds, “We take great pride in Texas Children’s Hospital—it’s known around the world as a leading pediatric care provider and research center. Houston would not be the same without it.”