HELENA — Shodair Children’s Hospital officially unveiled a $14 million fundraising goal to help support a $66 million building project that will address behavioral health issues for families throughout the state of Montana.
“It is not an overstatement to say this might be the most important day in our history,” said Craig Aasved, CEO of Shodair. “We mark the beginning of a future that features a vision of hope for everyone we care for. The campaign has already raised $5.4 million toward our goal, and we are thankful and humbled by the support we have received to generate great momentum.”
The launch featured a drive-through experience for visitors who followed a tour of the campus-wide initiative and capital campaign. Along the way, they learned about Shodair’s services, its history, the $66 million comprehensive set of projects, and the need to help fund the effort. At the end of the route, visitors received gifts to commemorate the occasion. They also had the opportunity to meet some of the people who have joined the leadership effort, including campaign co-chairs: Seth Bodnar, President of the University of Montana, Dr. Waded Cruzado, President of Montana State University, and John Cech, President of Carroll College.
“There is no substitute for passion and effort in the support of children in general, and particularly in the support of children in need of help,” said President Bodnar. “I am here today because I am motivated by Shodair’s vision, and encouraged by their sheer will and determination to meet the urgent behavioral health needs of children in Montana. The statistics are staggering, and so is Shodair’s plan to address them.”
“At Montana State University, we believe in transforming lives through education and empowerment.” said President Cruzado. “In a very real sense, Shodair’s mission is closely aligned to ours. They are single-minded in their focus on changing children’s lives…indeed, to heal, help and inspire hope. Both our organizations have a vision that will continue to increase access to everyone who seeks our services.”
“The opportunity to improve the quality of life and health of Montana's children is a top priority for me personally and professionally and for Carroll College,” said President Cech. “I am looking forward to partnering with campaign co-chairs Seth Bodnar and Dr. Waded Cruzado and the entire state of Montana to surpass campaign expectations and to provide better mental and physical healthcare results for our State’s children.”
Shodair Children’s Hospital’s vision represents the largest, transformative building plan in its 125-year history.
In a press release, Shodair says at the core of this $66 million initiative is urgency, to provide access for all Montana families who require the broad spectrum of behavioral health and genetics services the organization provides. New construction will produce nearly 131,000 square feet of classroom space, recreational space, family meeting space, a new pool, and private bedrooms with attached restrooms for all inpatient residential and acute care programs. The result of the grand plan is to make Shodair available to more people with flexibility in a more therapeutic environment.
“These children need us now more than ever,” said Aasved. “Behavioral health issues have risen exponentially in recent years here in Montana, and we simply cannot sit by and watch this happen…watch children and families suffer. That determination is at the heart of this vision and this initiative. We will not rest until we have achieved our goal.”