Seattle Children’s Hospital announced Thursday that Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO, and his wife Connie Ballmer have made a $20 million donation to support the expansion of Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC).
The clinic serves children from lower-income families and communities that traditionally struggle to stay healthy, regardless of a family’s ability to pay for treatment. Its original location in Seattle’s Central District is set to undergo refurbishment as a second location is set to open in Othello Square in South Seattle.
The push to expand the clinic comes as skyrocketing housing prices are increasingly gentrifying Seattle’s core, pushing many underserved and low-income families south.
“We were impressed by many aspects of the new Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, including the clinic’s location in a high-need area south of Seattle and the combination of key services for children and families at one campus,” Connie Ballmer said in a statement. The donation was made through their philanthropic organization, The Ballmer Group.
“We’re excited to support the work of giving families access to a medical home of this quality, led by a reputable health care team that understands and truly cares about the complex challenges many families face,” she said.
In a previous interview with GeekWire, the clinic’s medical director, Dr. Benjamin Danielson, said its work reaches outside the building’s four walls to become part of the community and help families with many of the factors that lead to poor health.
“This means making specific efforts to help with determinants of health like housing insecurity, food insecurity, basic clothing, school supplies, transportation needs, and many other important issues that are named by the families themselves,” he said. “It means partnering with lawyers – in our ‘medical legal partnership’ – to address civil-legal issues like housing rights, immigration and educational rights.”
The donation is part of Seattle Children’s ongoing $1 billion “It Starts With Yes” campaign, bringing the total amount raised to nearly $90 million. That campaign is also building a new facility for Seattle Children’s Research Institution in South Lake Union and funding uncompensated care across Seattle Children’s Hospital and its clinics.[Editor’s Note: GeekWire is working with Steve Ballmer and his USAFacts initiative on a new podcast called Numbers Geek.]