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BALTIMORE, April 30, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, announced today an $8 million grant for the extension of Kennedy Krieger Institute's existing Weinberg Outpatient Center.

"The Weinberg Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of Kennedy Krieger Institute since 1994, providing a total of more than $16 million in capital, operating, and program grants in addition to this latest gift," said Ellen M. Heller, Weinberg Foundation Chair. "Kennedy Krieger Institute is arguably one of the top ten research and direct-service institutions for children and youth with intellectual disabilities." Heller went on to say, "As part of its portfolio of 300 active grantees in the disabilities field in the U.S. and Israel, the Foundation funds programs that help people with physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities, including autism and those who struggle with psychiatric difficulties. Of all these grantees, Kennedy Krieger offers the Foundation the greatest impact by serving the largest number of children at the earliest possible age so that these children have a chance to live independent, purposeful lives in our community."

Heller also noted that the Weinberg Foundation awarded this grant because Kennedy Krieger has trained and continues to train hundreds of doctors, therapists, and psychologists who then fan out across the world to help low-income and vulnerable children with disabilities. In fact, Kennedy Krieger-trained physicians are at the Shriner's Hospital in Honolulu, one of the Weinberg Foundation's hometown communities which include Baltimore, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Israel.

"We are fortunate that the Weinberg Foundation shares Kennedy Krieger's belief that children with disabilities deserve every opportunity to unlock their potential and participate as fully as possible in home, school, and community life," said Dr. Gary Goldstein, President & CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute. "Their financial support will help to make possible a much needed expansion of our patient care and training programs."

The new building will serve children with neurodevelopmental disorders and house group therapy rooms, exam and treatment rooms, and a controlled multisensory environment for children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Space equipped for telemedicine will also be a part of the building extension, as will office space for Kennedy Krieger's growing staff representing more than 20 different clinical specialties.

About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, provides approximately $100 million in annual grants to nonprofits that provide direct services to low-income and vulnerable individuals and families, primarily in the U.S. and Israel. Grants are focused on meeting basic needs and enhancing an individual's ability to meet those needs with emphasis on older adults, the Jewish community, and our hometown communities of Maryland, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii. The trustees, some of whom also serve as executive officers of the Foundation, are Donn Weinberg, Barry I. Schloss, Robert T. Kelly, Jr., Alvin Awaya, and Chair Ellen M. Heller. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as the Weinberg Foundation's President and Chief Executive Officer. For more information please go to www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.

CONTACT: Media Contact: Craig Demchak 443-738-1159 cdemchak@hjweinberg.org

Source:The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation