Loma Linda University Medical Center has accepted a gift of $25 million from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to partially underwrite the construction of a new tower for its Children’s Hospital.
The gift was celebrated Thursday night, February 21, at the 26th Annual Children’s Hospital Foundation Gala, held at the Riverside Convention Center. The Gala itself raised $1,638,570.
Tribal Secretary Ken Ramirez presented the gift, and stated that the donation — the largest the San Manuel Indians have ever made — will forge an even stronger partnership with Loma Linda to move the community forward in health and wellness.
“San Manuel is grateful for the compassion shown to our elders by Loma Linda University Health many decades ago,” Ramirez said. “We are excited about the new opportunities and lifesaving care that the new Children’s Hospital will offer to our shared community and loved ones.”
Scott Perryman, senior vice president and administrator of the Children’s Hospital, expressed his gratitude: “We enthusiastically join San Manuel in a commitment to improve healthcare in our community for generations to come. Their generosity will help us transform maternal care to the benefit of each mother and baby that Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital cares for.
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians were also presented with the Discover Lifetime Achievement Award, highlighting a partnership between San Manuel and Loma Linda University Health for more than 100 years.
Richard H. Hart, president of Loma Linda University Health, said the gift will empower Loma Linda University Health to go forward into the future. “The coming years will bring monumental changes to Loma Linda University Health, both in the physical landscape and in the practice of health care,” Hart said. “San Manuel’s support will have a profound impact on the tiniest, most vulnerable patients from our communities. Loma Linda University Health is inspired by this trust.”
Where does the San Manuel Indians’ money come from? Gambling. The tribe operates a gigantic, 500,000 square foot casino in Highland, California, a few miles north of Loma Linda. The Casino houses 4,800 slot machines, 130 black jack gaming tables, and 38 poker tables. There are also four different state-of-the art bars in the casino (drunk people don’t gamble very wisely). A 500 room hotel will open next year.
The fifth floor of Loma Linda’s new adult acute care hospital and Children’s Hospital facility will be named the “San Manuel Maternity Pavilion” in honor of the landmark gift. At the time of this writing, there was no word on whether the 5th Floor lobby will feature slot machines.