Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s family donates $15M to Seattle Children’s Hospital

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and his wife Anu Nadella, who serves as chair of Seattle Childrens Foundation Board of Trustees, photographed with their son, Zain. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Childrens)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadellas family is donating $15 million to Seattle Childrens Hospital to support its work in neurosciences medicine and mental health care.

Satya Nadella and his wife Anu shared a statement in announcing the gift on Wednesday: When our son Zain was born with cerebral palsy, our family formed a deep connection to Seattle Childrens, relying on their expertise, care and resources as we navigated the challenges of raising a child with complex medical needs. It is our hope that in honoring Zains journey, we can support Seattle Childrens in advancing precision medicine neurosciences, mental and behavioral healthcare, and providing equitable access to care for every family and community.

The donation will help in four specific areas in neuro medicine: recruiting leaders in precision medicine, building a clinical trial program, expanding the organizations mental health initiatives, and creating the Zain Nadella Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurosciences.

Zain, who is now 24 years old, was taken to Seattle Childrens Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) immediately after birth to receive life-saving care. As an adult, he needs continual, specialized care and communicates nonverbally. Nadella detailed the impact that Zains life has had on him in his book, Hit Refresh,and spoke about it at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. Since Nadella took the top spot at Microsoft, the company has increased its commitment to developing technology to help people who are disabled and has initiatives to increase access to employment for disabled workers.

As parents, our lives have been shaped by the needs of our children, and it is our hope that in honoring Zains journey, we can improve and innovate care for future generations in every community, said Anu Nadella, who currently serves as chair of Seattle Childrens Foundation Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Neuroscience Campaign Initiative Committee.

The hospital is running a fundraising effort called It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Childrens. The initiative hopes to raise $1.35 billion that will fund wide-ranging needs in pediatric health research and care.

Were incredibly grateful for Anu and Satyas tremendous generosity and commitment to improving the lives of children and teens with neurological conditions and brain injuries, said Dr. Jeff Sperring, CEO of Seattle Childrens, in a statement.

U.S. News & World Report last year named Seattle Childrens among the nations best childrens hospitals. Founded in 1907, the organization reported more than 377,000 annual patient visits at its main campus and affiliated clinics in its report for 2020. Seattle Childrens ranked fifth in National Institutes of Health for research funding among pediatric institutions.

At the same time, Seattle Childrens has faced significant internal challenges in recent years. That includes news of airborne mold in its facilities that infected and reportedly killed seven patients, leading to a class-action lawsuit. And in November, a Black doctor who was the medical director of a Seattle Childrens affiliated clinic for 20 years resigned from his post due to actions by hospital leadership that he felt were racist.

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