DOYLESTOWN, PA – Doylestown Health Foundation welcomed invited guests including generous donors, employees, families, local legislators, and others for remarks, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and tours of the new facility on September 30. The event marked the celebration of Doylestown Health’s commitment to rebuilding the facility, as well as the amazing support received through ONE VISION: The Campaign for Doylestown Health.
In opening the program’s remarks, Jim Brexler, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Doylestown Health noted, “The highest priority of Doylestown Health is taking care of families and taking care of our Associates…the Boards of Trustees, the VIA [Village Improvement Association of Doylestown] and this organization…all agreed Children’s Village meets our priorities and we need to rebuild it, whatever it takes.”
Barbara Hebel, who serves as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Doylestown Health, has overseen Children’s Village for the past 23 years. Hebel noted that the learning center is an important symbol of the hospital’s commitment to its employees, physicians and the wider community.
She described many of the center’s exciting new features, including storage areas that double as safe-rooms, providing near-absolute protection in the event of extreme weather, a state-of-the-art learning kitchen, art studio, and newly designed library with a magical treehouse. “These and so many more thoughtful, careful additions to this newly completed learning center embody how important and special this place is to our organization,” Hebel said.
Hebel introduced Bernadette Rodrigo, who serves as the center’s director. Rodrigo, who gave brief remarks after a standing ovation led by the other teachers in the audience, described the center’s core curriculum, noting that “…we are teaching them to be learners, we’re teaching them to be curious, and we’re teaching them to be creative – and that’s truly what they will need to succeed in their own futures.”
The former Children’s Village facility, which operated on the hospital campus for 35 years, was destroyed by a tornado in August 2020. While no one was seriously injured in the event, Children’s Village was damaged beyond repair. Soon after, Doylestown Health Foundation announced that a rebuild would be a new priority of ONE VISION: The Campaign for Doylestown Health.
Support for the project included gifts from generous ONE VISION donors, as well as a $2 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. Fundraising concluded with a successful, “Fill Our Bucket,” campaign inspired by a generous challenge match by Jeanne and John Hubbard to support myriad final priority needs including books, craft supplies, bicycles, classroom furnishings, outdoor playground equipment and more. The effort netted an additional $290,000 in individual contributions. The collective support from the community and commonwealth totaled more than $6.6 million.
Nick Gorsky, an alum from the early ‘90s, shared that Children’s Village served as much more than a day care center, “It was a place where I learned about values like respect and friendship.”
In closing the program, Brexler acknowledged the generous financial support of project donors, including the Gorskys and Hubbards. During her remarks, Jeanne Hubbard described the project’s journey and thanked all those whose hard work contributed to the center’s welcome return to the hospital campus. In honor of the ribbon-cutting, Hubbard crafted a poem entitled, “When will it be done?” – a Dr. Seuss-style homage to all those who awaited it’s reopening with great anticipation over a period of three years.
She read the poem’s closing line, “When will it be done? Very soon, it’s near…when will it be done? Surprise! It’s here!” to applause as the crowd moved to the main entrance to observe the ribbon-cutting.
The ribbon-cutting event was the largest event hosted by Doylestown Health, with around 500 families, employees, supporters, legislators and others in attendance. The newly opened center welcomed 220 students “back to school” on October 2, 2023. Of those, roughly half are children of medical staff, nurses and other employees of Doylestown Health. The new Children’s Village is nearly double the size of the previous facility, designed to replicate a “village” setting, with colorful buildings connected together to form one warm, welcoming center for childcare, teaching and learning.
About Children’s Village: Children’s Village is a fully licensed early childhood education center accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and holding a STAR-4 rating (the highest) in the Pennsylvania Keystone STARS Quality Initiative. Serving children from six weeks of age through kindergarten, Children’s Village is also licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Carefully designed curriculum at Children’s Village employs Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and concentrates on the behavioral, social, emotional, and intellectual well-being and growth of each individual student. It has operated as part of Doylestown Health since 1986.
About Doylestown Health Foundation: As the philanthropic arm of Doylestown Health, Doylestown Health Foundation raises funds to support patient care excellence and improve quality of life for the patients and families we serve. Doylestown Health relies on each and every philanthropic gift, no matter the size, to advance the organization’s priorities, including delivery of the highest level of patient care with the most advanced technologies and treatment options.
About Doylestown Health: Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient, and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of the local and regional community. The flagship of Doylestown Health is Doylestown Hospital, a not-for-profit, community teaching hospital with 247 beds and a medical staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. Renowned locally, regionally, and nationally, Doylestown Hospital provides superior healthcare and offers advanced surgical procedures, innovative medical treatments, and comprehensive specialty services. Now in its 100th year of service in central Bucks County, Doylestown Hospital is proud to educate and train the next generation of physicians through its family medicine residency program. Doylestown Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s best hospitals by Newsweek: eighth in Pennsylvania and 122 in the United States, and is the only hospital in Pennsylvania to achieve 14 consecutive ‘A’ grades for patient safety from Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade.
Learn more at https://www.doylestownhealth.org.
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PHOTO CAPTION: Led by Jeanne and John Hubbard, Ph.D., Doylestown Health benefactors and honored guests cut the ribbon marking the reopening of the new Children’s Village Early Childhood Learning Center on September 30. From left to right, Doylestown Health (DH) VP and Chief Advancement Officer Laura Wortman, DH President and CEO Jim Brexler, VIA President Helen Hammes, District Director for U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Kyle Melander, Children’s Village Leadership Donors Haley Torrey and Nick Gorsky, Jeanne Hubbard, John Hubbard, Pennsylvania State Senator Steve Santarsiero, Children’s Village Director Bernadette Rodrigo, Chair of the Boards, Doylestown Hospital and Doylestown Health Foundation, Marianne Chabot, DH VP and Chief Human Resources Officer Barbara Hebel (with grandchildren, who are Children’s Village students), Pennsylvania State Representative Tim Brennan, Pennsylvania State Representative Shelby Labs, and DH Director of Integrated Services, Ernie Werner (with grandchildren, who are Children’s Village students).