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Thunderbirds Charities Makes $500,000 Gift to Valleywise Health Foundation

Funding will support the pediatric unit in the new Diane and Bruce Halle Arizona Burn Center opening in early 2024

PHOENIX – August 24, 2023

Valleywise Health Foundation is delighted to announce a $500,000 contribution from Thunderbirds Charities towards the Thunderbirds Charities Pediatric Burn Unit located inside the Diane and Bruce Halle Arizona Burn Center opening in early 2024.

The new 75,000-square-foot Halle Arizona Burn Center was designed from both the patient’s and clinician’s perspective, bringing the functions and features of burn care excellence into one location. The design philosophy and physical layout will foster a sense of safety, openness, collaboration and peer support in recovery and responsiveness – which are key in addressing the trauma associated with burns – as well as a patient’s long-term recovery.

“Recovery from a burn injury, both physically and mentally, is a lifelong journey and pediatric patients will be our patients for life,” said Dr. Kevin Foster, Director of the Arizona Burn Center – Valleywise Health. “The new Thunderbirds Charities Pediatric Burn Unit was designed to be a safe space for children to heal, work through the trauma associated with their injuries, and get back to being a kid. This truly meaningful gift will help children and families for generations to come.”

The Thunderbirds Charities Pediatric Burn Unit will be a secured wing with private patient rooms, as well as both a pediatric playroom and dedicated teen room designed to give young patients a safe space to regain a sense of normalcy during their hospitalization.  All areas will be staffed by Child Life specialists, specially trained to address the needs of pediatric patients and their families in the hospital. A unique feature in the new Halle Arizona Burn Center will be a state-of-the-art Wellness Center for rehabilitation therapy to support long-term physical and emotional survivorship care.

Pediatric Burn Survivor Westyn on his first day of Kindergarten

Westyn on his first day of Kindergarten

“We think what Valleywise Health does throughout the Valley is great for our community and are excited to help complete the state-of-the-art facilities for the world-renowned Halle Arizona Burn Center,” said Pat Williams, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are fortunate to fund outstanding organizations helping people in need each year. Seeing the new facilities and technology and meeting families who will directly benefit from this care was humbling. Talking with 5-year-old Westyn, an aspiring cowboy in kindergarten and 12-year-old Leah, who just earned a spot on her middle school cheer team, helped reinforce our excitement for this unique project. Despite the difficult situations they’ve been through and treatments they still face, these resilient kids, and the people who care for them, are inspiring.”

“We are so honored to be among the 46 Valley nonprofits selected by Thunderbirds Charities this year, and especially thrilled with this very meaningful gift at a milestone time in Valleywise Health’s history,” said Valleywise Health Foundation Chief Advancement Officer Kate Fassett.  “Tragically, children and teens throughout the Southwest region are burned every day. Having facilities and equipment designed especially for their needs is a gift of immeasurable worth.”

Treating some of the most complex and traumatic burn and wound cases, the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise Health is one of the nation’s largest and busiest academic burn centers with 6,000 outpatient visits and more than 1,000 inpatient admissions each year. Serving the entire Southwest region, this renowned center for innovation, research and world-class clinical burn care has excelled in facilities built in 1970, not designed for the unique needs of burn and wound care patients.

The single-floor evidence-based design will allow all members of the burn care team to easily interact. Other new features include family support rooms, space for research and teaching and more.

The Thunderbirds Charities gift was made as part of Valleywise Health Foundation’s $50 million ALL IN for Valleywise Campaign, culminating with the opening of the new 10-story Valleywise Health Medical Center, currently under construction and scheduled to open in early 2024. The new acute care hospital at 2601 E. Roosevelt Road in Phoenix will replace the current teaching hospital opened in 1971.



Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the WM Phoenix Open golf tournament. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in Greater Metropolitan Phoenix. For more information on Thunderbirds Charities visit


Valleywise Health Foundation is the Phoenix-based 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to providing financial support for critical patient and program needs at Arizona’s public teaching health system, Valleywise Health. Named Arizona Business Magazine’s AzBusiness Angels Healthcare-focused Nonprofit of the Year in 2020 and in 2021, key funding areas include, burn survivorship care, innovative behavioral health programs, and teaching tomorrow’s health care professionals. The Valleywise Health mission is to provide exceptional care, without exception, every patient, every time – regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. More than 70 percent of Valleywise Health’s patients are financially vulnerable. To learn more and donate, visit

About Valleywise Health Located in Phoenix, Arizona and named one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation by IBM Watson Health in 2020, Valleywise Health has a proud tradition of being the public safety net health care system with a mission and commitment to serving the underserved. Valleywise Health consists of Valleywise Health Medical Center, Arizona’s only public teaching hospital, a Level I Trauma Center that treats adults and children and Arizona’s only nationally verified Burn Center serving the entire Southwestern United States. Other services include the McDowell Healthcare Center, the largest provider of HIV primary care in Arizona, the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic, three behavioral health hospitals, and a network of 11 community health centers located throughout Maricopa County. To learn more, please visit



Marcia Scott

Valleywise Health Foundation


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