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Stanford Report, November 8, 2000

Stanford receives $31.8 million to establish Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease

Stanford University Medical Center, through the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, has received $31.8 million from an anonymous donor to establish a center to treat patients with pulmonary vascular disease and support research dedicated to finding cures, the Medical Center announced recently.

The Vera Moulton Wall Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease at Stanford will provide comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic services for adults and children with all forms of pulmonary vascular disease focusing on pulmonary hypertension, officials said. The Wall Center also will support and expand research collaboration between the schools of Medicine and Engineering.

Pulmonary vascular disease, which involves the blood vessels of the lungs, ranges in origin from congenital heart disease to autoimmune and clotting diseases. These diseases, which affect patients of all ages, make it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs to be oxygenated and in their most severe forms can be life threatening.

"Treatment of pulmonary hypertension, a disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises far above normal levels, carries new promise as a result of recent advances, but there is a striking need for earlier diagnosis and better treatment," said Jeffrey A. Feinstein, MD, MPH. Feinstein, director of the Wall Center, is an assistant professor in pediatric cardiology at the Medical Center and director of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Catheterization at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

"The Wall Center provides Stanford, already internationally recognized for its excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiopulmonary disease, the opportunity to build on that foundation," he said.

Ramona L. Doyle, MD, co-director of the Wall Center, assistant professor in pulmonary and critical care medicine and associate director of the Lung/Heart-Lung Transplantation Program at Stanford, said the Wall Center will work closely with the Stanford Lung/Heart-Lung Transplantation Program "to study new therapies that may function as a bridge to transplantation for patients awaiting transplantation or as an alternative for patients who are not transplant candidates."

Over the next five years, Feinstein said he hopes the Wall Center will care for increasing numbers of children and adults from the United States and abroad, provide advanced training opportunities for physicians in pulmonary, cardiac or intensive care medicine, and be internationally recognized for research into the primary and secondary causes of pulmonary vascular disease and its treatment.

Eugene A. Bauer, MD, vice president for medical affairs and dean of Stanford's School of Medicine, praised the center's collaborative and interdisciplinary spirit. "We are profoundly grateful for the donor's insight and generosity in funding the Wall Center for Pulmonary Vascular Disease. I am confident that it will serve as a model for research and treatment of many pediatric and adult conditions," he said.

The anonymous gift, named at the donor's request for Vera Moulton Wall, was made through Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health. The Foundation, established in 1996, raises funds for both Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the pediatric programs of Stanford University School of Medicine.