Local Madison philanthropist Pleasant Rowland donated $10 million to the University Hospital to aid in construction of a new and improved transplant facility, UW Health announced Tuesday.
Rowland, who started the Middleton-based Pleasant Company — which is now known as American Girl — has long been a supporter of the city of Madison and has given many philanthropic gifts totaling tens of millions to bolster its larger arts community.
However, Rowland is now donating to another cause close to her heart. After two decades of suffering the effects of kidney failure, Rowland underwent a kidney transplant at UW Health in 2012.
“This gift today is my way of saying thank you to the team for the incredible care I received here,” Rowland said in a statement.
The project will cost a total of $20 million. It will entail improvements such as a new entrance, relocation of the transplant facility from the basement to the ground floor, a design featuring natural light and a family lounge.
According to Dr. Dixon Kaufman, the medical director of the UW Transplant Center who led Rowland’s 2012 operation, the design of the new facility will streamline care for everyone involved in the clinic.
“This incredibly generous contribution by one of our beautiful civic leaders in the city of Madison is going to help numerous, numerous individuals with transplant needs, their families and everybody that helps take care of the patients as well,” Kaufman said.
The UW Health Transplant Center has a longstanding precedent as one of the most successful — and oldest — transplant centers in the nation and continues to extend its legacy and influence by performing crucial operations and conducting research.
Construction for the new transplant clinic will begin this year and will be completed and ready to accommodate patients by 2023.