Our Exciting New Funding Target – Wolfson Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
The Women’s Board is very excited about stepping back to our beginnings. The health and of our tiniest patients, the babies in the Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, has been near and dear to our hearts since we were created. In 1972, Richard and Ray Martin lost a premature twin daughter, Abbie. At that time, Wolfson Children’s Hospital did not have the equipment necessary to support one premature infant, let alone two. Surviving twin Annie had to be transported in the back of her parents’ station wagon in an incubator to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, where she stayed for almost five months. Out of this tragedy began The Women’s Board. We are coming full circle in our desire to assure that Wolfson Children’s Hospital continues to provide the best neonatal services and technologies available, the current funding target of The Women’s Board is the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
More than 13,000 babies are born in Duval County each year. More than ten percent of those newborns will require critical care in their first moments of life, and many will require a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) specially designed to meet their medical needs. The responsibility for giving thousands of our region’s babies a fighting chance for a healthy life rests on Wolfson Children’s Hospital, the area’s premier children’s health system, which is home to the largest and highest intensity NICU in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
For decades, Wolfson Children’s Hospital has risen to the challenge. Their team of skilled medical professionals offers highly specialized care for babies born early, who have low birth weight, or who have a medical condition that requires surgery or another type of special care. While the neonatal services at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are the best in the area, there is still an opportunity to improve the facilities and care offered to our tiniest patients and their families.
Over the next three years, Wolfson Children’s Hospital will undertake a campaign to build a new and improved NICU. The newly renovated NICU will feature:
- Suites designed with comfort and privacy for families in mind, while still maintaining visibility and easy access for NICU staff
- Modified lighting and soundproofing to reduce stress on newborns
- Critically important medical equipment designed to provide the highest standard of care
Wolfson Children’s Hospital President Michael Aubin describes his vision for the new NICU: “The demand for outstanding neonatal care increases every day. As a regional care center, it is our responsibility to meet that demand. In order to do that, we must build a new facility. As the needs of infants continue to grow and evolve, so must our technology and the facilities that house them. Our new NICU will be an investment in our community’s children.”
The Women’s Board completed it’s five-year, $4 million pledge to the Pediatric Surgery Center of Distinction at Wolfson Children’s Hospital. We are proud to announce a new commitment to raising $4 million over five years to help fund the new NICU. Proceeds from the Art & Antiques Show and other Women’s Board fundraising activities go directly to supporting the work of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, including this important new project for our region’s tiniest patients. Thank you for your patronage of this year’s Show, and thank you for joining The Women’s Board as we support the work of Wolfson Children’s Hospital and its commitment to providing the best health care to all children.