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VALHALLA, NY-While a host of state and local dignitaries are expected to attend the groundbreaking on Westchester Medical’s Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital on Oct. 3, the date also provides a somber reminder as to the need for the new facility. Oct. 3 marks the fifth anniversary of Maria Fareri’s death from rabies she contracted from a bat. She was diagnosed and cared for at the existing Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center.

The Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital will be the only hospital in the country named for a child. To date, the Westchester Medical Center has raised more than $21 million to build the world-class facility.

The entire cost of the project, including hopsital construction, a new emergency department and trauma center, a living science center and major renovation of the medical center’s Main Tower building, has been estimated at $145 million, excluding financing costs.

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