Yabuki family donates $20 million to Children’s Wisconsin to transform mental health responses

Jeff Yabuki (left) with brother Craig Yabuki, 2012
Jeff Yabuki (left) with brother Craig Yabuki, 2012(Yabuki Family Foundation)
Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 2:57 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) — The Yabuki Family Foundation gifted Children’s Wisconsin $20 million Monday to transform the delivery of integrated mental and behavioral health care.

Jeff Yabuki, the former CEO of Fiserv, Inc., made this donation in tribute to his brother, Craig, whose childhood depression went undiagnosed. Craig died by suicide in 2016.

“Through our partnership, we intend to significantly advance the manner in which mental and behavioral health issues in children are diagnosed, reduce the stigma, and enable care — when needed — to be delivered in a fully integrated way,” Jeff Yabuki said. “Whether a child has an earache or is feeling anxiety, we are helping families to address mental and physical health, together, and with equal importance.”

The donation will help expand the program to at least 36 full-time therapists who will work side-by-side with pediatricians in primary and urgent care locations.

“Kids with healthier minds and bodies will have more success in school, develop the tools and skills they need to be more fulfilled adults, and be better prepared for a healthy and prosperous life,” Senator Dale Kooyenga said.

A release said this is the single largest donation in the health system’s history and that $5 million of the gift will support a dollar-to-dollar match to engage other donors.

When fully staffed in 2023, the program has the potential to benefit more than a third of the pediatric population in southeastern Wisconsin, the foundation said.

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