A five million dollar gift is helping a Waterloo hospital expand. Allen Hospital has received the donation from Waterloo philanthropist Pauline Barrett to help build a new, 70,000 square-foot addition. The new facility, to be named the Pauline Barrett Pavilion, will house the hospital’s new emergency department and heart and vascular center.

The gift was announced today by Allen Health System President and CEO Rick Seidler. It’s believed to be the largest single philanthropic gift in the history of the Cedar Valley. Barrett’s donation is a major boost to the 15 million dollar fund-raising campaign started by the Allen Foundation in March. The Foundation plans to raise 7.5 million dollars for the 45 million dollar, three-story expansion. The remaining 7.5 million would build, equip, staff, and endow new facilities, programs, and scholarships at Allen College.

Seidler says the fund-raising campaign, which is scheduled to conclude in November 2008, is off to a good start. So far, they’ve raised 3.4 million dollars. Seidler says the hospital is expanding to meet the increasing needs of the community.

Seidler says Allen Hospital is the busiest hospital in the Cedar Valley, "in fact, last month, the Allen emergency department had the busiest month in our 82 year history." The expansion project is the largest since the hospital was founded in 1925. Construction is scheduled to begin next week and be completed by Fall of 2008.