Kids' hospital opens amid fanfare

In a well-appointed tent accented by clowns and posters of young patients, the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Comer Children’s Hospital (opening this month) featured an all-star program of local and national officials, University higher ups, big donors, and 8-year-old former cancer patient Jimmy Mohan.

Senator Barack Obama joined University President Don Randel, Illinois First Lady Patricia Blagojevich, and Congressman Bobby Rush, among others, in thanking Gary and Francie Comer, who donated $21 million toward the 155-bed, 242,000-sqare-foot building, designed to offer a warm, family-friendly atmosphere along with expanded research and treatment facilities. Gary Comer, who considers the South Side his hometown, also thanked those who would advance pediatric care. “Jimmy,” he said, “you’re what it’s all about.”

By A.L.M.

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Photos: Jimmy Mohan (left); Gary Comer (middle).

January 31, 2005