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Golisano Children’s Hospital joins Children’s Miracle Network

A partnership to benefit the children of Southwest Florida has come to fruition, as Lee Health and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals team up to help patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Thursday, Lee Health and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals announced a new partnership that will help fund the growth of services while maintaining nationally recognized care at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Through this partnership, the community can support their local children’s hospital by purchasing a paper Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals “Miracle Balloon” at checkout from participating retailers, joining Extra Life, a 24-hour gaming and fundraising marathon or supporting other Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals partner campaigns and events. Donations will support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care.

“This is a great day for the children of Southwest Florida. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is a national leader in helping children’s hospitals care for pediatric patients and their families,” said Armando Llechu, chief administrative officer of Golisano Children’s Services. “And we’re proud to partner with them to continue providing the very best care for children in our region.”

Mother Rachel Dion, whose two children have been patients at Golisano, is enthusiastic about the new partnership between the hospital and the nonprofit.

“I think being a part of the Children’s Miracle Network is going to bring more light to Golisano’s,” Dionj said. “They make the most amazing team for a child.”

Both of Dion’s children were taken to Golisano for medical treatment for separate emergencies.

“My daughter [Willow] spent time there. She had some breathing issues when she was little, and she was transported to Golisano,” Dion said. “My son Wyatt gets more what I call maintenance care. We call him the epilepsy warrior.”

While local businesses have been raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals for years, this partnership will allow the dollars raised in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties to stay local to help Southwest Florida’s children. The money raised through this partnership will be maintained in a designated fund within the Lee Health Foundation and earmarked for use exclusively to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital. Visit https://leehealthfoundation.org/CMN to find out more.

“Countless community leaders worked diligently to bring this partnership together. It’s their support that made this possible, and ensures that Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals donations made at Southwest Florida’s retailers and through partner campaigns and events will remain in our community to support children’s medical services,” said Chris Simoneau, Lee Health chief foundation and development officer.

Armando Llechu, the chief administrative officer for Golisano, says the hospital has cared for almost 40,000 children in the past year, emphasizing the reach of Golisano in Southwest Florida and why the new partnership is beneficial.

“That’s 40,000 lives that we impacted in a positive way,” Llechu said. “It’s super exciting. The funds that we raise will allow us to do more than we’ve done in past. We’re anticipating, for the first year, around $800,000.”

Llechu said, effective January 1, 2020, Golisano will be the Children’s Miracle Network for Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

Established in 1994, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has been named a “Top Hospital” by The Leapfrog Group for the past three years. It is the only recognized children’s hospital in Southwest Florida and provides specialized care for kids between Tampa and Miami.

In 2017, Lee Health opened the freestanding 134-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital through the generosity of the Southwest Florida community. It includes comprehensive pediatric services including a 24-hour pediatric emergency department, hematology-oncology unit, milk lab, regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, and Level II and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with 70 private rooms.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lee Health and Golisano Children’s Hospital into our network of fundraising partners,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. “This partnership will allow us to raise more money to help more kids. These funds will help us change kids’ health and change the future of pediatric healthcare in Southwest Florida.”

Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ partners in Southwest Florida include:

    • Walmart & Sam’s Club
    • Costco Wholesale
    • Ace Hardware
    • Publix Super Markets, Inc.
    • Speedway
    • Dairy Queen
    • Love’s Travel Stops
    • Marriott International
    • Marriott Vacations Worldwide
    • Wawa
    • IHOP
    • RE/MAX

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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