Wilf Family Center Unveiled at University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The University of Minnesota today unveiled the Wilf Family Center at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. Designed to be the intellectual center of children’s health care in the Midwest, the center is named in honor of the Wilf Family Foundation for its $5 million gift, made in December 2013, to build the center and support its initial operations.

“Over the past 10 years, Minnesota has become a second home for our family,” said Zygi Wilf, owner and chairman of the Minnesota Vikings. “We care deeply about the people in Minneapolis-St. Paul and have enjoyed a meaningful relationship with University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. This gift was an opportunity to show our appreciation for the community in a way that will have a lasting impact.”

“Supporting education and health-related causes has been important to our family for several generations,” said Mark Wilf, owner and president of the Minnesota Vikings. “This gift is a wonderful fusion of our commitment to supporting children’s health and the chance to see the knowledge and discoveries here shared far beyond the hospital’s front doors.”

The formal announcement of the Wilf Family Center comes on the heels of the Wilf Family Foundation’s 50th anniversary, celebrated last December. In the past half century, the foundation has donated more than $200 million to various causes in education, health, human rights, the arts, athletics, Holocaust remembrance and more.

“University of Minnesota physicians and researchers provide world-class health care for citizens across Minnesota,” said Eric Kaler, president of the University of Minnesota. “The Wilf Family Center allows us to share that expertise with a much larger audience throughout the region and the world, and engage with more people in meaningful conversations about children’s health, innovative medical care and research discoveries. We are deeply grateful for this generous gift from the Wilf Family Foundation.”

The Wilf Family Center includes an auditorium, two conference rooms and a telehealth room that allows communication between patients and medical staff, and the technology to transmit medical, imaging and health informatics data from one site to another. State-of-the-art conferencing capabilities make this the premier site for knowledge sharing among pediatricians, residents, fellows and other medical professionals as it hosts local, national and international researchers and innovators in healthcare.

“The Wilf Family Center transforms how we can share expertise and allows our physicians and researchers to connect with others nationally and internationally to share their experiences, insight and knowledge,” said Bobbi Daniels, MD, co-president, University of Minnesota Health.

The auditorium is designed to accommodate patient needs and medical equipment so children in the hospital and their families can enjoy the space. The center will host patients and their families for movie premieres, special performances and opportunities to meet local celebrities including the Minnesota Vikings, University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and other favorite teams. Young patients unable to leave their rooms can still enjoy the events through in-hospital broadcasting.

“The Wilf Family Center provides an important and accessible way for children and their families to have fun and forget they are in a hospital, which is so important to the healing process,” said Carolyn Wilson, RN, co-president, University of Minnesota Health.




The Wilf Family Center auditorium features:

  • 203-theater seats with a 24 feet by 7 feet video wall;
  • Wheel chair access and removable seating to provide 20+ locations for patients in wheel chairs;
  • Built-in equipment to serve IV poles, oxygen tanks and other patient equipment needs;
  • Video conferencing capabilities, including audience and presenter cameras for recording and conferences.

Designed and built by HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), and RJM Construction, the center is a continuation of the award-winning HGA’s work on the hospital campus.

About the Wilf Family Foundations

Since 1964, the Wilf Family Foundations have provided over $200 million in support for various educational, humanitarian, medical, religious and scientific institutions.  The foundations also have provided support for organizations and causes that aim to ensure the safety and continuity of the Jewish people.  Their philanthropic leadership has been the catalyst for the success of many projects.  The Wilfs' philanthropy now comprises many major gifts to universities, schools, hospitals, social service and military veterans organizations that benefit society at large.

About University of Minnesota Health




University of Minnesota Health represents collaboration between University of Minnesota Physicians and University of Minnesota Medical Center. Working together, we provide exceptional care in a wide range of specialties at our hospitals, clinics and in community-based facilities throughout the region. Visit University of Minnesota Health for more information.