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The Conrad Prebys Foundation Contributes $1 Million to Rady Children’s Heart Institute

This generous investment will bring pioneering, data-informed precision medicine to pediatric heart patients in the Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit

(SAN DIEGO — March 30, 2021) — Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego announced today The Conrad Prebys Foundation has chosen Rady Children’s Heart Institute to receive a gift of $1 million during its inaugural grant cycle. This generous donation from one of San Diego’s leading philanthropic organizations will go toward implementing new technology capable of preempting adverse cardiac events in children. The technology harnesses data to deliver proactive, personalized medicine in the Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit, and empowers clinicians to provide the next generation of superior care to patients. 

Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, with more than 40,000 children in the United States being born with CHD each year. About 25% of these babies will require surgery or other procedures before their first birthdays; others may need a heart transplant as they grow older. Patients in Rady Children’s 32-bed CTICU are among the Hospital’s most vulnerable. Their conditions can change suddenly, unpredictably and, when identified too late, are often too complex to correct. 

Data plays an integral role in the functioning of ICUs. Advancing innovative, data-informed technology in the CTICU is central to Rady Children’s Heart Institute, and its implementation is the next crucial step to providing  pediatric heart patients with the remarkable promise offered by artificial intelligence to fundamentally and dramatically improve care and recovery. 

“Our team is very excited to take full advantage of this technology to conduct research and undertake data-driven quality initiatives,” said John Nigro, MD, director of Rady Children’s Heart Institute. “Our role is to provide the most comprehensive care for congenital heart patients and those cardiothoracic patients requiring complex neonatal heart surgery and transplantations. The new technology will allow us to develop predictive algorithms to further improve and personalize care, ultimately resulting in our patients’ improved long-term outcomes and quality of life.”

“The past year has underscored the importance of supporting critical health care systems within our community,” said Erin Decker, director of grant making at The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The foundation is honored to have a role in ensuring these vital institutions have the resources and tools they need to provide care to individuals across the San Diego region.”  

Patrick Frias, MD, Rady Children’s president and CEO said, “We’re proud and grateful to be the recipient of this award and to join with The Conrad Prebys Foundation’s legacy of investing in the health and welfare of children and their families. Our mission at Rady Children’s is to provide care and pursue research that will enable children to live to their fullest potential. Technology is essential to this endeavor, and this generous grant provides the critical seed money to ensure our CTICU is leading advancements to transform care for this complex patient population.”

Once implemented, the CTICU team will use the technology to accelerate research that creates new standards in personalized pediatric cardiac care. Not only will the artificial intelligence generated help to anticipate and prevent adverse cardiac events for patients, but it will be used to originate revolutionary care paradigms that have not been thought possible before.

“Bringing bold visions to life requires bold philanthropy,” said Stephen Jennings, senior vice president and chief external affairs officer, and executive director, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We applaud and congratulate The Conrad Prebys Foundation on their extraordinary inaugural grant cycle. Thanks to their leadership, together, we can ensure that San Diego’s children and families are the healthiest in the nation and have access to the very best health care.”

About Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is a 505-bed pediatric care facility providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in San Diego, southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the only health system in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In June 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best children’s hospitals in the nation in all ten pediatric specialties the magazine surveyed. Rady Children’s is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations to support its mission. For more information, visit and find us on FacebookTwitter and Vimeo.

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Media Contact:
Carlos Delgado