University of Minnesota Receives $50 Million Gift for New Children's Hospital
Amplatz is one of the fathers of interventional radiology, yet "in many ways, Kurt is kind of unknown and unsung," said Dr. Frank Cerra, the university's senior vice president for health sciences, at a ceremony honoring the donation.
Using an ordinary needle and polyethylene tubing in 1958, Amplatz performed one of the world's first percutaneous catheterizations and helped pave the way for minimally invasive surgeries and procedures.
Caroline Amplatz, an attorney, said the idea for the donation and hospital name came only three weeks ago, when she arrived late to a meeting of the university's pediatrics foundation board and heard discussion about naming opportunities.
"The best things in life come together when nobody is looking," she said.
The funding over 12 years will help finance infrastructure and programs at the hospital, including a hybrid catheterization lab that will improve the speed and efficiency of surgeries to repair defective hearts.
The new children's hospital was announced two years ago, after failed attempts by the Fairview, Allina and Children's hospital systems to build a new pediatric facility together. Children's is now renovating both of its pediatric hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Having the new university hospital named after one of its pioneers seems fitting, said Mark Eustis, Fairview's president and chief executive officer.
"I think the name is a lot better than having a corporate name on top of the hospital," he said.