The Foundation for Shawnee Mission Medical Center (SMMC) has received a $1 million gift from the Hall Family Foundation to build the B.E. Smith Family Center on the SMMC campus. The B.E. Smith Family Center will house two existing programs at SMMC –the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center (Britain IDC), which provides services for children with special needs, and the Early Learning Center (ELC), which provides a Christian education for children of Shawnee Mission Health (SMH) employees and physicians.
The Britain IDC provides therapeutic treatment and early education with a unique, family-involved approach to children ages birth to six with a variety of developmental challenges, including Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and other conditions. Individualized programs are crafted for each child by a team of physical, occupational and music therapists, speech language pathologists, early childhood special education teachers, behavior analysts and social workers. The program currently serves nearly 200 children each week. The B.E. Smith Family Center will replace the outdated facilities where the Britain IDC and ELC currently operate and enhance their therapeutic treatment and educational offerings.
"The journey of raising a child with special needs is an overwhelming experience," said Lou Gehring, senior executive director of the Foundation for SMMC. "Thanks to the Hall Family Foundation, we will now be able to embrace even more families in our community, enabling them to help their children grow to reach their full potentials. We are grateful for their generous investment in the B.E. Smith Family Center."
The Foundation for SMMC has raised nearly $15 million toward its goal of $20 million for the new facility. This includes a generous lead gift from former B.E. Smith President and CEO Doug Smith and his wife Nan, and a record-breaking $1,040,000 raised by the 2016 Tiny Tim Holiday Fantasy event.
"The Hall Family Foundation is committed to working with our community partners to help improve the lives of those most at risk – particularly the lives of children," said William A. Hall, president of the Hall Family Foundation. "We have great respect for organizations like the Lee Ann Britain Infant Development Center, who turn our vision and investment into actions and results. We are pleased to support the B.E. Smith Family Center."