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Leading Supporters Bestow Major Gift to Care for Young Patients and Families

The Jeffrey Paul and Grace Kathryn Feather Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will continue to provide leading-edge care to infants and children

Jeffrey Paul (“Jeff”) and Grace Kathryn (“Kathy”) Feather have spent their lives in the Lehigh Valley, building businesses, raising four children and supporting the community. They are now culminating years of service and philanthropic commitments to Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) with a naming gift to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital.

The Jeffrey Paul and Grace Kathryn Feather Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will continue to provide leading-edge care to infants and children up to age 17 while allowing their families to stay close to home. The couple knows firsthand how important this is, having been raised in the Lehigh Valley before a health system with LVHN’s capabilities came to be.

Early experiences

In 1971, Kathy was 17 and looking forward to graduating from high school when her mother suffered a heart attack. The doctors at a local hospital were able to stabilize her, but she needed to be rushed to Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for lifesaving open heart surgery. Kathy still recalls the anxiety she and her six siblings felt at having their mother so far from home. “I remember a few days later, on senior prom night, hearing her frail voice on the phone from the hospital in Philadelphia and how hard it was not to be able to see her,” she says.

Seven years later, Kathy’s mother was diagnosed with stomach and esophageal cancer that sadly eventually claimed her life. This time, however, she was treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, LVHN’s flagship hospital, which had been completed in 1974. “Throughout her surgery and treatments, she was never without a family member by her side,” Kathy recalls. “Having her close to home allowed our family to surround her with continuous love, comfort and moral support.”

A personal connection

Years later, in 2000, Jeff was facing emergency cardiac bypass surgery when his left anterior descending artery was found to be 99.9 percent blocked. He recalls his cardiothoracic surgeon pulling no punches when explaining the seriousness of his condition.

“He told Kathy and me that this kind of blockage was called a ‘widow maker,’” Jeff recalls. “But he also assured me that whatever got me to this point would also get me through the surgery.” Jeff received the best care in the region, with his four sons and wife by his side, close to home. It was a stark difference from what Kathy went through when she was a teenager, and her mother was far from home in the hospital.

After recovering from his procedure, Jeff requested the opportunity to watch a similar cardiac bypass procedure at LVHN. “I was able to stand in the operating room and witness this amazing team effort,” he says. 

Jeff served on the Board of Trustees of LVHN from 1997 to 2015. The Feathers also established an Endowed Lectureship series to bring renowned health care experts to the Lehigh Valley.

Responding to the greatest need

The Feathers’ decades-long connections to LVHN as board leaders, donors and former patients have driven their desire to bring the best specialists and technology to the Lehigh Valley.

“We felt that the PICU was where the need was greatest,” Kathy and Jeff say. “We want to make sure parents can stay close to their child in need but are able to continue to care for and provide comfort to any additional children that may be waiting at home.”

“We have met with some of the doctors and are excited about helping them attract more top talent to the Lehigh Valley,” Jeff adds. “We want our families to have the best of the best.”

Support Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital

To learn more about giving to Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, contact


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