Pat and Ellen Theodora Name Unit with $2.5 Million Gift
TORRANCE, CA, October 23, 2018 – Today, Torrance Memorial Medical Center celebrated the dedication of its
new Pat and Ellen Theodora Pediatric/Young Adult Pavilion—the final
phase of a $40 million renovation of its Donald and Priscilla Hunt Tower.
The family of Pat Theodora of Palos Verdes Estates donated $2.5 million
to name the unit.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of Pat and Ellen Theodora,
who are long-time and multi-generation supporters of Torrance Memorial,”
said Judy Gassner, senior director of development and principal gifts,
Torrance Memorial Foundation. “It’s through such support we
are able to offer the very latest advancements in care that our community
The new third-floor unit consists of 17 spacious private rooms, a playroom,
along with space for Torrance Loves Children, TLC, an alternative childcare
option for sick kids of employees and community members. The building’s
windows were replaced to offer more ample light in patient and employee
work spaces. The unit is decorated with a colorful beach theme.
Eight beds of the unit will be dedicated to Torrance Memorial’s medical
stabilization program, which provides acute care services for adolescents
and young adults experiencing medical complications as a result of a severe
eating disorder. The program is designed for individuals who are too medically
unstable to enter treatment at an outpatient or residential treatment program.
“The new medical unit provides for a dedicated nursing station, family
conference room, a nutrition area with a dining table, a cozy space for
psychotherapy sessions, and more,” said Dr. Linda Schack, medical
director, Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s Medical Stabilization
Program. “We believe the improvement in the patients’ environment
will contribute to their recovery in many ways.”
Included in the Hunt Tower renovation project was construction of a new
mother baby unit, with rooms 25 percent larger than the previous unit,
and relocation of the neonatal intensive care unit from its former location
in the Central Tower. The former NICU unit was divided on two separate
floors and featured a traditional open pod model. The new unit offers
25 private rooms, outfitted to provide a complete range of newborn intensive
care and each large enough to accommodate the newborn’s family.
The building’s fifth floor was also renovated as a 32-bed medical
surgical unit to accommodate overflow from the Lundquist Tower.
The Theodora family has a long history with Torrance Memorial. Two of their
four children were born there. In 1997, their daughter Hallie spent six
days in the pediatric center, with an infection in her foot that threatened
amputation. A decade later, Pat was out surfing with son Jaden in Redondo
Beach when the fin of Jaden’s surfboard severely gashed Jaden’s
leg. An ambulance transported the two to Torrance Memorial’s emergency
department, where they learned the wound had narrowly missed an artery.
Jaden’s leg required more than 300 stiches during a three-hour procedure,
followed by a seven-day stay in the pediatrics center. It was these experiences
that led Pat and Ellen to become Torrance Memorial Patrons in 2008, and
Pat to join the Torrance Memorial Foundation board in 2011. Pat joined
the Foundation’s executive board in 2016.
“Because of the exceptional care our children received, they are
now healthy young adults who enjoy life to the fullest. Hallie now runs
marathons and Jaden still surfs,” Pat said. “My wife Ellen
and I can’t think of a better way to give back to such a great hospital.
Through serving on the Foundation board for eight years, I have learned
firsthand how generous community gifts have made possible the evolution
of a small community hospital into an outstanding regional health campus.”
Pat, his father Pasquale (Pat) Sr., and friend and business partner Jackie
Smith founded American Mortgage Company in 1983. They sold the business
to a publicly traded company in 2000. Pat and his father, along with business
partner Don Iannitti, are co-founders of DocMagic, the largest provider
of loan documents in the United States. Pat’s mother Helen and brother
Kevin are former Torrance Memorial Auxiliary volunteers.
ABOUT TORRANCE MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER
Founded in 1925 by Jared Sidney and Helena Childs Torrance, Torrance Memorial
Medical Center is a 512-bed, nonprofit medical center established to provide
quality health care services predominantly to the residents of the South
Bay, Peninsula and Harbor communities. Torrance Memorial seeks to offer
the most current and effective medical technologies rendered in a compassionate,
caring manner. No longer just a hospital, today Torrance Memorial Medical
Center includes an extensive integrated system of physicians and comprehensive
medical services to provide coordinated communication and continuum of
care. Torrance Memorial is affiliated with Cedars-Sinai under the umbrella
of Cedars-Sinai Health System. Torrance Memorial’s nursing program
has earned coveted Magnet® recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognizes
U.S. News & World Report also ranked Torrance Memorial as 21st best hospital for 2018-19 in California
and the 10th best in the Los Angeles/Orange County region. For more information, please visit: