MemorialCare receives transformational gift to name Children’s Village in honor of the late Cherese Mari Laulhere

The Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation recently made a transformational gift to name and provide program support for the future Children’s Village at MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. When complete in 2021, the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village will be an 80,000 sq. ft., four-story building on the Miller Children’s & Women’s campus that provides a one-stop-shop approach to pediatric specialty care in an outpatient setting.

The gift is the largest commitment the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation has ever made and the largest gift received by the Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach Foundation. It is also the lead gift in the Miller Children’s & Women’s $60 million campaign launched in August 2018.

“The Children’s Village has been a decades long dream for Miller Children’s & Women’s, so to have the support of the Laulhere family to not only realize our dream but sustain it for generations of children to come is incredible,” says John Bishop, CEO, Miller Children’s & Women’s.

Born at Miller Children’s & Women’s in 1974, the late Cherese Mari Laulhere spent her life giving back to her community. While attending college, she learned about the Semester at Sea Program, which led her on a trip to India. While there, her life was tragically taken in a bus accident at 21-years-old. Her legacy and loving heart lives on through the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation.

“Our family generously donated to the Children’s Village in memory of Cherese’s hopes and dreams of helping children,” says Chris Laulhere, Cherese’s mother. “She was always very grateful for her family and friends, had so much compassion for others and had a very loving heart.”

Each year, Miller Children’s & Women’s sees 65,000 children in its outpatient specialty centers across the region. Currently, Miller Children’s & Women’s has seven medical office locations across Long Beach. The Children’s Village will bring the services from all seven locations into one building.

At the Children’s Village, children will be seen for a variety of reasons – from a one-time consultation to follow-up care for a wide range of health conditions requiring specialized pediatric care.

Cherese’s donation will strengthen current programs offered at Miller Children’s & Women’s, including the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, which the Foundation also has generously endowed.

Each year, thousands of families receive support from the Child Life Program, and with the endowment, this number is expected to nearly double to 10,000 in the Children’s Village.

“Children’s health care is unique, and the ongoing support of Cherese and her family allow our clinical teams to continue to provide the unique care that thousands of children across our region need,” says Sharon Thornton, president, Miller Children’s & Women’s Foundation.

The Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation has been a decades-long supporter of Miller Children’s & Women’s previously making donations to support the Cherese Mari Laulhere Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Cherese Mari Laulhere BirthCare Center and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Imaging Center, among others.

About MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach:

MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach provides specialized pediatric care for children and young adults — as well as maternity care for expectant mothers —under one roof. Only five percent of all hospitals are children’s hospitals, making them unique not only to children’s health care needs in the community, but across the region. Miller Children’s & Women’s is one of only eight free-standing children’s hospitals in California — treating more than 14,000 children each year — and has become a regional pediatric destination for more than 65,000 visits by children, who need specialized care in the outpatient specialty and satellite centers. For more information, visit

About the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation

The Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation was established to honor Cherese Mari Laulhere who died unexpectedly at the age of 21. Run by Cherese’s parents, brother, sister-in-law and close friends, the Foundation is committed to keeping Cherese’s memory alive. The mission of the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation is to provide funding and support to charitable organizations whose goals and activities are in concert with those founded and supported by Cherese Mari Laulhere. These organizations reflect her dedication to enrich and better the lives of children, adults & families through education, cultural & performing arts, and medical & health care related causes for both people and animals. For more information about Cherese and pictures, please visit

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