Los Angeles — Last fall, Variety Tent 25 – The Children’s Charity of Southern California joined in partnership with the Will Rogers Institute to provide nearly $80,000 in funds to St. Francis Medical Center for the purchase of two new Giraffe Infant Warmer and Isolette ventilators to be used in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the medical center.

St. Francis Medical Center is the only comprehensive, non-profit healthcare institution serving a deeply impacted population of 1,000,000 residents in Southeastern and South Central Los Angeles. As such, the medical center provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for the 700,000 adults and 300,000 children who rely on it for quality healthcare.

The medical center serves an area that ranks highest in infant deaths, highest in the rate and number of births to teenagers, has the largest number of uninsured children and the largest number of children living below the poverty level (46 percent). This area also has the largest number of children in foster care, as well as the highest incidence of reported child abuse in the County of Los Angeles.

Due to high instances of drug use, poor nutrition, and the lack of adequate healthcare in the community, St. Francis serves a very high percentage of mothers with high-risk pregnancies. This results in over 1,000 infants born each yearwho require care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These infants are extremely susceptible to numerous complications and are some of the most vulnerable patients treated in the medical center. Many of the most premature micro-preemies require the highest level of precision which cannot be provided using a traditional ventilator. The new Giraffe Infant Warmer and Isolette allows the NICU doctors and staff to ventilate an infant in a more precise and less-invasive manner – saving the lives of countless children.

The opportunity to fulfill this need set the scene for building a unique partnership between Variety Tent 25 and the Will Rogers Institute. Both organizations have deep roots in the entertainment industry. While Variety has long been recognized for its work in providing life-saving and life-enriching assistance to abused, addicted, physically-challenged, neglected, and underprivileged children, the Will Rogers Institute is prominently known as a national charitable organization dedicated to the support of lung research and developing new treatments and cures for pulmonary diseases and disorders.