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Cook Children's dedicates new facility

Cook Children's Medical Center today dedicated the largest part of its $250 million expansion and said it will conclude a $75 million capital campaign with a fundraising effort aimed at the general public. Cook Children's recognized its major private donors in a ceremony at the Dodson Specialty Clinics & Cancer Center building, a five-story facility containing outpatient operating rooms, doctors' offices and specialized pediatric fields. It will go into service in phases over the next six weeks, officials said.

Cook Children's Health Care System CEO Rick Merrill told a large audience that "this facility has such capacity that my grandkids will enjoy this space. (He has two teenage daughters.) Grant Harris, vice president of development for the W.I. Cook Foundation, said the capital campaign, originally set for $50 million but which has already raised $70 million from private donors, now will raise the final $5 million from the community. Expect to see billboards, advertising and plenty of social media programs to raise awareness, he said. For now, you can go to www.cookchildrenspromise.org to make a donation.

-- Jim Fuquay



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