Names and faces
■ Madonna says the children’s wing at a hospital in Malawi she has been building for two years completed its first surgery last week and will open officially on Tuesday. The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at
Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre had a soft opening and is the first of its kind in Malawi. It was built in collaboration with the Malawian Ministry of Health. “When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,” Madonna said in a statement. “I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn’t have done it without your support,” she added. Madonna adopted four children, David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere from Malawi. The children’s wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy. The pop star’s charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in Malawi and has funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015. Madonna, 58, visited the site last year. The children’s unit includes three operating rooms dedicated to children’s surgery, a day clinic and a 45-bed ward. It will enable Queen Elizabeth hospital to double the number of surgeries for children and will provide critical pre-operative and post-operative care. It also includes a playroom, an outdoor play structure and inspirational murals curated by Madonna and other artists. Madonna founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children.
■ Lauren Conrad, the former MTV reality star, has given birth to her first child. She wrote on her website that she and husband William Tell welcomed Liam James Tell into the world Wednesday, weighing in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces. The 31-year-old Conrad married the lawyer and musician in 2014. Conrad shared pictures of an embroidered image of her new family, including the couple’s two dogs. Conrad got her start on MTV’s Laguna Beach before getting her own reality show, The Hills, which ran from 2006 to 2010. She now runs a lifestyle and fashion website.