Gathering at The Ryland Inn just days before the actual Churchill Downs event, guests donned their finest Kentucky Derby attire to launch the public phase of a $169 million campaign to fund sweeping upgrades to Overlook Medical Center.

Attending with his family, Owen Faecher thanked the clinicians who saved his life when, as a newborn, he was brought to the Overlook Emergency Department with a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect.

Designated by Healthgrades as one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals for clinical excellence, Overlook is home to some of the region’s most well-respected physicians, offering the most advanced technology and treatments.

Now, through donor support, 90 percent of Overlook’s patient care spaces will be restructured . . . with new medical infrastructure in every room, triple the number of private rooms, several brand-new units, and additional operating rooms.

“Overlook is recognized as a beacon of innovation and excellent care, with an amazing team of clinicians and cutting-edge programs,” said Stephanie Schwartz, president. “I look forward to continuing that tradition of excellence and taking it to the next level. As we embark on this campaign, we’re giving our world-class teams the facility, tools, and resources to complement the incredible work they do, and setting Overlook up to provide the best care now and in the future.”

Other speakers at the Off to the Races event included Nikki Sumpter, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Atlantic Health System; Jack Audett, MD, chief medical officer at Overlook; and Muhammad Feteiha, MD, chief of surgery and president of the medical staff executive committee at Overlook.