As parents know, having pediatric emergency care close to home provides invaluable peace of mind. Now, thanks to a generous gift from Holly and Jeff Whiteman, East Valley families will have a Phoenix Children’s emergency department right in their backyard.

“When I was a kid, my dad told me that ‘just because you come from means doesn’t mean you are better than anyone; it means you have more responsibility to give back and help others,’” says Whiteman, who is the President and CEO of Mesa-based Empire Southwest, the Caterpillar dealership for Arizona and southeastern California. “That really made an impression on me, and I never forgot it. Holly was also raised by parents who felt strongly about giving back and making a difference. We are very grateful for the opportunity to support Phoenix Children’s expansion into the East Valley and the families it will serve.”

The Whitemans’ gift will support a 24-bed emergency department at Phoenix Children’s Hospital – East Valley. Slated to open in early 2023 on the Dignity Health Mercy Gilbert Medical Center campus, the hospital also will feature a 60-bed Level III neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to care for the most ill and premature babies, six operating rooms and 48 beds. The expansion is designed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing East Valley and beyond.

A legacy of giving back

Philanthropy has been a key part of the Whiteman family for generations. In 1961, Jeff’s father, Jack Whiteman, the founder of Empire Southwest, established the Edna Rider Whiteman Foundation, which he named after his mother. He believed that business has a fundamental responsibility to the community, often sharing the wisdom that, “If you take care of the farm, the farm will take care of you.” In 1999, the organization became the Whiteman Foundation, and the family continues to invest in the health, education and welfare of children.

“We have had numerous experiences with our kids, grandkids and friends who have been blessed by the amazing men and women of Phoenix Children’s,” Whiteman says. “Their commitment to the East Valley is a big deal and a tremendous benefit for those who live in the area. We live and work in the East Valley, as do many in our company, so supporting the hospital just seemed like the right thing to do.”

Support Our Future Expansions

As the Valley continues to grow, so too does the need for high-quality pediatric care.

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