Greg Olsen Foundation donates $2.5M for new pediatric heart center at Levine Children's Hospital

Greg Olsen #88 of the Carolina Panthers looks on against the Seattle Seahaws in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Carolina Panther Greg Olsen's foundation gifted $2.5 million to Atrium Health for a new pediatric cardiac center at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, the hospital system announced. 

The gift was announced Wednesday night following the annual HEARTest Yard golf tournament, a fundraiser held at the Club at Longview. Atrium Health said this is the largest donation from Olsen's foundation to Levine Children’s. App users click here.

Greg and Kara Olsen started the HEARTest Yard initiative in 2012, initially focusing on home health care for children with congenital heart disease. Their son, TJ, was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. The couple understands firsthand the special needs of those patients.

"Kara and I are honored to play a small role in assuring all children in our community have access to world class healthcare," Olsen tweeted Wednesday.

The HEARTest Yard Pediatric Cardiac Center, is scheduled to open in 2021, and will be housed in the Medical Center Plaza building adjacent to Levine Children’s Hospital. Atrium Health said the building will be renovated over the next several years to accommodate all specialty outpatient services offered by Levine Children’s.

“This new center will be a game changer for the children of the Carolinas,” said Nancy Dobrolet, MD, director of the cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic.  “Thanks to the Olsens, and their many supporters, we provide the best comprehensive cardiac care in the country for young heart patients.”

Olsen will host the annual HEARTest Yard 5K Saturday, May 11 with all proceeds benefiting Levine.