To support the construction of a new, state-of-the-art children’s hospital in Southwest Florida, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has pledged $5 million to the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida Capital Campaign. In recognition of the pledge, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. has earned a naming opportunity, and will dedicate the new Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in memory of Dr. Bob Arnall.
Affectionately known as the “Father of Golisano Children’s Hospital,” Dr. Arnall was one of the first pediatricians in Southwest Florida, Lee Memorial Hospital System’s first medical director, and the Children’s Hospital’s second medical director. Dr. Arnall passed away five years ago.
“Our board felt that the new PICU should be named in Dr. Arnall’s memory, in recognition of his passion, leadership and advocacy for pediatric healthcare in Southwest Florida,” said Bev Cherry, board member, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “As an organization dedicated to supporting children’s healthcare in our community, the dedication of the PICU is our way to honor his legacy and pay tribute to the man who helped establish pediatric healthcare in Southwest Florida.”
SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is raising a total of $15 million for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and just completed their first pledge of $10 million. SWFL Children’s Charities is the second largest donor to the new building campaign, next to Tom Golisano.
The SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised nearly $15 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing wine fests in the country.
The two-day 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest includes private Chef/Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and the Grand Tasting and Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.
“To recognize Dr. Arnall and honor his commitment to the children of Southwest Florida with the dedication of the new PICU is one of the most admirable gestures I’ve encountered and truly memorializes the impact that he’s made to our health system, our community and the children of Southwest Florida,” said Jim Nathan, president of Lee Memorial Health System. “I’m forever grateful to the SWFL Children’s Charities for their continued generosity and support for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.”
SWFL Children’s Charities hosts the annual Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest each year, donating 100 percent of all proceeds primarily to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, as well as to Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University for scholarships for local students planning to study in the Health Sciences fields and stay in Southwest Florida. Many of those students will eventually work in the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
“The mission of Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc. continues to focus on advancing the healthcare services for children throughout our five-county region and Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will be the main beneficiary of our support,” said Debbie Toler, board member, Southwest Florida Children’s Charities, Inc. “Not only will America’s newest children’s hospital offer the most advanced care available, but it will help attract new physicians and health professionals that specialize in pediatrics to meet the growing needs of our community. This is especially important as our population continues to grow and younger families move to Southwest Florida.”
Scheduled for completion in early 2017, the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida will include 128 beds for the care of local children along with the latest medical equipment and a specialty trained team of medical care providers. The 292,000-square-foot facility, currently under construction on the Health Park campus, will be completely dedicated to pediatric specialty care. Through the generous support of local residents and businesses, $91 million has been raised to help build the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System in Florida. It is the only acute care children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. The children’s hospital opened in 1994 within HealthPark Medical Center. The name was changed to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in 2012. Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, the primary fund raising entity for Golisano Children’s Hospital, is currently engaged in a major capital campaign to enhance pediatric hospital care in Southwest Florida by raising $100 million to build and equip a new 128-bed children’s hospital on the campus of Health Park Medical Center. For more info, visit ChildrensHospitalGoal.org.