The Ludmila and Edward Smolyansky Foundation Pledges $1 Million in Support of Lurie Children’s

May 29, 2024

Gift to Support the Division of Cardiology and the Hospitals Access for Every Child Fund 

The Ludmila and Edward Smolyansky Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Pure Culture Organics of Chicago, Illinois, announced today it has made a $1 million commitment to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago, specifically allocated to the Cardiology Program Fund and the Access for Every Child Fund. 

The Ludmila and Edward Smolyansky Foundation's generous contribution aims to significantly impact pediatric cardiac care at Lurie Children's, supporting priority projects within the Division of Cardiology. This substantial investment will bolster research initiatives, advance treatment methods, and enhance overall patient care in the field of pediatric cardiology. 

In addition to supporting the Cardiology Program Fund, a portion of the pledge is designated for the Access for Every Child Fund. This critical fund ensures that children who are uninsured or facing financial hardship have access to the world-class care provided by Lurie Children's. By eliminating financial barriers, the Access for Every Child Fund aligns with the foundation's mission of making healthcare accessible to all children.   

“In June 2002 my father Michael died from a heart attack at 55 years of age, and two years ago almost to the day I had two cardiac arrests myselfThe tremendous life savers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital not only saved my life and helped me get back to a normal, healthy life, but allowed me to bring my own son into this world also at a Northwestern Medicine hospital, and I am forever grateful to them,” said Edward Smolyansky. “Chicago is our home and we are proud to support the Division of Cardiology and the hospitals Access for Every Child Fund. As our company and foundation grow, we hope we can continue to direct proceeds towards the community and to a long term and collaborative relationship between Lurie Childrens and our family Foundation.”   

We are extremely grateful to The Ludmila and Edward Smolyansky Foundation and their philanthropic support,” Grant Stirling, President & Chief Development Officer, Lurie Children’s Foundation. This generous gift will not only advance the programs in our nationally-ranked Heart Center but also reaffirms our commitment to provide equitable healthcare to every child, regardless of their ability to pay.” 

Each year, thousands of families turn to Lurie Childrens for the highest quality care delivered in the most kid-friendly setting. As non-profit hospital, Lurie Childrens is driven by excellence, inspired by innovation and powered by philanthropy. Lurie Childrens is committed to providing access to exceptional care for every child. It is ranked as one of the nations top childrens hospitals by U.S. News & World Report and is the pediatric training ground for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. To learn about ways to support Lurie Childrens, visit 

About PCO 

Pure Culture Organics was founded in 2023 by Ludmila and Edward Smolyansky almost four decades after founding and then exiting Lifeway Foods (LWAY) in Morton Grove, Illinois, on the belief that digestive health is fundamental to overall personal well-being AND that being a responsible producer is fundamental to the well-being of the planet.  Along with the Foundation, our mission is to improve overall well-being through healthy eating and promote a better understanding of probiotics, the microbiome and their impact on a healthy lifestyle. To learn more visit