Newswise — Las Madrinas, a nonprofit dedicated to raising funds for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), has made a $5 million commitment to support care for children diagnosed with neurological conditions. The gift establishes the Las Madrinas Chief of Neurology Chair, to be held by Douglas Nordli, Jr., MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology at CHLA, and supports the improvement and expansion of the Neurological Institute’s renowned Epilepsy Program.

“The ongoing commitment to pediatric healthcare by Las Madrinas is invaluable,” says Paul Viviano, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles president and CEO. “This generous gift will expand and advance the care that the experts in our Neurological Institute provide for children with epilepsy. Dr. Nordli’s leadership as co-director of the Institute, along with that of fellow Co-director, Mark Krieger, MD, the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Endowed Chair in Neurosurgery, has been vital in establishing CHLA to develop into one of the nation’s top pediatric epilepsy centers in the country.”              

“Early diagnosis and precise treatment of epilepsy are critical for a child’s developing brain,” says Las Madrinas president Lisa Brandt. “For a child with uncontrollable seizures, it is vital to have timely access to a pediatric epileptologist to receive immediate care and ultimately prevent devastating consequences.”

Las Madrinas, first known as ‘The Godmothers,’ was founded in 1933 to support the outstanding health care and research at CHLA. For more than 80 years the group, comprised of residents from Los Angeles and its surrounding communities, has supported pediatric medicine and holds the distinction of being the first Affiliate Group of CHLA. Support from Las Madrinas will fund a substantial expansion and upgrade of the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at CHLA, permitting the institution do double the size of the EMU and upgrade equipment to include portable and wireless monitoring systems to track a patient’s brain activity anywhere in the institution, even during surgery and recovery.

CHLA is recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a Level 4 epilepsy center, providing the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

“With the advent of precision medicine and novel diagnostic tools, this is a pivotal time in the field of child neurology,” says Dr. Nordli, professor of Clinical Neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC). Nordli also serves as vice chair of Neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “This generous donation provides CHLA the opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of children with neurological challenges here in Los Angeles and beyond.”

Prior to joining CHLA in 2016, Dr. Nordli served as the Lorna S. and James P. Langdon Chair of Pediatric Epilepsy and division head of the Epilepsy Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, as well as a professor of Clinical Neurology and Clinical Pediatrics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles 

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is dedicated to creating hope and building healthier futures for children. Founded in 1901, CHLA is one of the nation’s leading pediatric academic medical centers and is acknowledged worldwide for its leadership in pediatric and adolescent health. The hospital relies on the generosity of the community to support its groundbreaking pediatric research and the complex care it provides for critically ill and injured children.

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