Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz reacts to a play during the game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. The Ferentz family will donate $1 million to the Stead Family Children's Hospital. (The Daily Iowan/file photo)

Ferentz family donates $1 million to neonatal research

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Kirk and Mary Ferentz will donate a charitable amount to the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital for neonatal research, the UI Foundation announced in a press release Wednesday.

The Ferentz family has committed to a $1 million donation to support researcher’s work in the neonatal field at the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the release said. Kirk Ferentz is the head football coach for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

“Iowa’s neonatologists are committed and are already leading the way for these little babies,” said Mary Ferentz in the press release. “We so deeply admire and appreciate the people who gave us hope and helped our family so much. This is a way for us to help them help others.”

The donation establishes the Savvy Ferentz Program in Neonatal Research at the hospital – an honor to their granddaughter, Savvy Elizabeth, who was born prematurely in 2014 at 21 weeks and 5 days gestation, the release said.

Jeffrey L. Segar professor of pediatrics at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine said in the release that the gift will help researchers impact the lives of many Iowa families.

– Jenna Larson

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