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July 17, 2012 – Louis and Melinda Mapp Give $500,000 to USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital; Child and Family Life Program Named in their Honor

Celebrating the Mapp Child & Family Life Program announcement, from left, are USA President Gordon Moulton, Geri Moulton, Hospital Administrator Owen Bailey, Melinda Mapp and Louis Mapp.

Louis and Melinda Mapp of Point Clear have given $500,000 to the University of South Alabama Children’s & Women’s Hospital to enhance the facility’s Child Life program for young patients. In recognition of their generous support, the expanded program has been renamed the Mapp Child and Family Life Program at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

The Mapp Child and Family Life Program works with hospitalized children, teens and their families to ensure that each child's developmental, educational, psychosocial and emotional needs are met while at USA Children's & Women's Hospital. Child Life specialists, recreational therapists and teachers help reduce stress for children and families by assisting them to understand and manage illness and treatment.

In addition, credentialed teachers provide instruction to school-age children in the hospital’s classrooms or at bedside, as well as services to ease a child’s transition back into the community. Together, this team also provides special events and services to help normalize the hospital environment.

“The ongoing expansion and enhancement of USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is being greatly assisted by generous donors such as Louis and Melinda Mapp, whose generosity will forever improve the quality of life for our young patients and their families,” said USA President Gordon Moulton.

“Melinda and I visited USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital and we were overwhelmed; overwhelmed with the care and the wonderful, dedicated staff,” said Louis Mapp. “When we were heading back home, we decided then that we wanted to help in some way with what we had seen and experienced. Since then, we learned more about the Child & Family Life Program. We’re honored to be able to play a small part in this wonderful program.”

“Louis and Melinda Mapp have a long history of generous support for the people of our region,” Owen Bailey, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital administrator, said. “Our young patients and their families, as well as our entire staff, are grateful that Louis and Melinda Mapp’s gift will enable USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital to provide even greater support to the children of the Gulf Coast region.”

Patient Sarah Browning and pet therapy dog Sadie share a quiet moment.

Dr. David Gremse, USA chairman of pediatrics, said, “It’s understandable that a child would be sad to be hospitalized, but I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen their spirits lifted through a Pet Therapy visit from a friendly dog, video games, or even school. The Mapp Child and Family Life Program is a great gift to USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital that will be a terrific help in each child’s treatment and recovery.”

The Mapp Child and Family Life Program traces its roots to the late 1970s when Cathy O’Keefe, a therapeutic recreation instructor at USA, worked to create a child life program in the pediatric unit at USA Medical Center. When USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital began in the early 1980s, Child Life was already an active part of each child’s treatment and recovery.

The gift is part of the “Campaign for USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital” that was launched with the concurrent announcement of the $72 million major expansion of the hospital. With a goal of $10.6 million in private fundraising to enhance the hospital’s programs and services, the campaign has netted nearly $4.7 million.

“Louis and Melinda Mapp have quietly built a legacy of helping others,” Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., USA vice president for development and alumni relations, said. “Their gracious and touching support for USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, and their dedication to the further development of the Mapp Child and Family Life Program, is an inspiration to the entire Gulf Coast region.”

USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is among fewer than ten freestanding hospitals in the country dedicated specifically to the health care needs of children and women, offering Mobile’s only neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, pediatric oncology and sickle cell outpatient center and high-risk obstetrical care. With more than 2,700 births annually, USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is the area’s leader in deliveries.

A major expansion that will nearly double the size of USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is scheduled to be completed in 2013, recognizing the community’s validation of the hospital’s quality of care and the hospital’s opportunity to continue to meet the needs of a varied and growing population.

For more information about USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, please visit or call (251) 415-1000. To view photos from this event, please visit

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