October 3, 2011

NICU in children’s hospital to be named for Sutland/Pakula family

Gift also creates professorship in newborn medicine, research endowment

The state-of-the-art 45-bed neonatal intensive care unit on the eighth floor of the new Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center at Johns Hopkins will be named the Sutland/Pakula Family Newborn Critical Care Center to honor the family’s continuing generosity to Johns Hopkins. The most recent gifts from the family include support for construction of the neonatal center, an endowment to support faculty research and a professorship.

Josephine and Frank Sutland were longtime supporters of the university and its School of Medicine. The Sutlands’ daughter, Sheila Pakula, and Sheila’s husband, Lawrence Pakula, are also generous supporters, particularly in the area of child health. The gift supported construction of the new NICU, which will open in April 2012.

“We appreciate the incredibly generous support we have received from the Sutlands and Pakulas and are grateful for their gift to our new NICU,” said George Dover, director of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and of the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Because of this gift, our neonatal unit will have all private rooms and expanded family accommodations. These funds will also assure that we will be able to perform innovative new research in the care of neonates and to train the leaders of neonatology in the future.”

The family also established both the Josephine Sutland Professorship in Newborn Medicine and the Sheila S. and Lawrence C. Pakula, M.D., Endowment for Neonatal Research. The professorship will be held by the director of the Sutland/Pakula Family Newborn Critical Care Center, Edward Lawson, in the Division of Neonatal and Perinatal Medicine. The endowment will be used primarily to support the research endeavors of outstanding junior faculty, who will be known as the Sheila S. and Lawrence C. Pakula, M.D., Fellows. A dedication and installation ceremony was held Sept. 22 to install Lawson and the inaugural fellows, Azadeh Farzin, Adam Hartman and Jenny Yu.

Edward D. Miller, the Frances Watt Baker, M.D., and Lenox D. Baker Jr., M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said, “We’d like to thank the Sutland/Pakula family for their contributions to improve newborn health. Their commendable efforts will not only optimize our care of newborns in the NICU but advance overall health by supporting research into growth and development of infants into healthy adults.”

“The Sutlands cared deeply about pediatric health care, research and training,” said Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We are so thankful the Pakulas carry on the tradition of generous giving started by Mrs. Pakula’s parents.”

Along with her family, Josephine Sutland established in 1991 the Dr. Frank V. Sutland Chair in Pediatric Genetics to honor her husband, who died in 1989 at the age of 87. A 1924 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Dental School, Frank Sutland established a network of clinics across New York and Pennsylvania that emphasized dentistry for children and the handicapped. Before her death in 2008, Josephine Sutland was devoted to improving the quality of life for others. In addition to leadership of civic and cultural organizations in the Troy-Albany area of New York, she created beautiful gardens at the family home, which later became the residence of the president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Sheila Pakula is a member of the Women’s Board of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Lawrence Pakula is an associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a co-founder of Pavilion Pediatrics in Green Spring Station. Both serve on the Hopkins Children’s advisory board and have followed in their family tradition of active involvement in the community.

In 2008, Lawrence Pakula was awarded the Community Teaching Award from the Academic Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics for being a community pediatrician dedicated to teaching medical students and residents. He provides pediatric consultation to special schools serving children with significant developmental disabilities and medical problems. He also chairs the board of Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, which is co-owned by Johns Hopkins Health System and University of Maryland Medical System, and serves on the boards of the Hospital for the Consumptives of Maryland (Eudowood) Foundation and the Robert Garrett Fund for the Surgical Treatment of Children, founded by Mary F. Jacobs, which supports pediatric surgery at Johns Hopkins.