UnityPoint Health - Des Moines announced this morning that entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Knapp has made a commitment of current and future gifts estimated at $5 million in support of the expansion and renovation of the Emergency Department and Trauma Center at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Blank Children's Hospital. In recognition of his leadership support, the new name will be the "William C. Knapp Emergency Department and Trauma Center."


The commitment represents the largest gift to the project thus far. With Knapp's leadership support, along with generous support from the community, the fundraising campaign has surpassed $9 million, UnityPoint said in a release.


"I am honored to be able to support a project that will not only help save lives in our community, but will also be important for the whole state of Iowa," Knapp said in a statement. "Health care is one of the cornerstones of our community and this project will help to continue the growth we have experienced and prepare us to meet the needs of future generations. This is critically important for patients and families, for businesses, and for the state of Iowa."


As the only Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and Level 2 Pediatric Trauma Center in central Iowa, Iowa Methodist and Blank Children's emergency department and trauma center provide care to more than  55,000 patients annually, a number that continues to grow.


"We are truly humbled and grateful to have his support and partnership on this historic health care project," said Eric Crowell, president and CEO of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines.


When completed in late 2016, the William C. Knapp Emergency Department and Trauma Center will provide the medical teams with the facility and state-of-the-art technology to better serve the patients, families and community by advancing the level of care, reducing patient wait times, and enhancing the comfort of patients and families.


To read an earlier Business Record article about the emergency department/trauma center expansion project, click here.