When Jill and Chris Davis visit the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital (UMCH), a big smile appears on the face of every child in our care. Since 2016, Jill and Chris have been champions of our mission. Their initial gift of mamaRoo infant seats to the Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides comfort to every premature or critically ill baby; their annual participation in Crush’s Homers for Hearts Home Run Derby inspires others to give and brings awareness to our institution.
Once again, Jill and Chris stepped up to the plate by making a $3 million gift to construct a new, state-of-the-art Pediatric Hybrid Catheterization/ Operating Room. Their generous gift is the largest philanthropic donation from a Baltimore sports figure to UMMC.
“This is a cause that is close to our hearts,” says Chris. “Everyone at the hospital has inspired our family — from the patients and families who show such courage in the face of overwhelming challenges to the medical professionals and caregivers who dedicate their careers to saving and improving lives.”
Chris and Jill named the new unit after their daughter, Evie, who was born with a ventricular septal defect in January 2018. The Evelyn Kay Davis Congenital Hybrid Catheterization Suite will be a comprehensive surgery center equipped to perform lifesaving pediatric surgeries.
“We are committed to showing our daughters that with great privilege comes great responsibility,” Chris says. “As their father, I pray that my girls will embrace opportunities to serve others and love as they are loved. I want to encourage and empower them in the hope of watching them grow into caring, compassionate, generous leaders who are inspired to help those in need.”
The new suite will position the hospital to meet the growing needs of seriously ill children. In the Children’s Heart Program alone, surgeries have increased by 50 percent within the past year and the new addition will help it reach its fullest potential.
“We are incredibly grateful to Jill and Chris for their steadfast generosity, commitment, and time they spend with our young patients,” says Steven J. Czinn, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of UMCH. “Their interaction with patients, families, and staff, coupled with community-wide events like Crush’s Homers for Hearts Home Run Derby supports the lifesaving work being done within our hospital — specifically the innovations with our nationally recognized Children’s Heart Program, which has seen tremendous growth and stellar patient outcomes.”
Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer of UMMC, says: “This remarkable gift from Chris and Jill Davis will benefit children throughout the state of Maryland and beyond. It will provide critical support to expand the resources and technology available at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital — including a new cardiac catheterization lab and operating room — allowing our world-class experts in children’s heart disease to provide the most advanced care possible. We are grateful to Chris and Jill Davis for their generosity and partnership.”
To make a gift in support of the Children's Heart Program, please click here.