The new Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida answers a call for enhanced health care services for children. Investments at UF and Shands will focus on addressing specific patient needs, establishing an integrated care model and growing the ranks of pediatric specialists and other pediatric health-care providers. This hospital will serve as the new clinical home for a broad-based program for children and women with the goal to become a national leader in pediatric research, innovation and education.
In July, the first step in building the new hospital for children was taken when the new Pediatric Emergency Room opened, becoming north central Florida’s first emergency room specifically geared toward kids. More important, families have access to an expanded team of seven UF pediatric emergency medicine physicians and 22 Shands nurses trained in pediatric emergency medicine. The team is able to treat up to 24,000 pediatric emergency patients a year.
Co-located with the Pediatric ER is Pediatrics After Hours, a collaborative effort between UF College of Medicine and community pediatricians who, along with Shands nursing staff, provide appointment-only urgent primary care and non-emergency services. The Pediatric ER and Pediatrics After Hours staff have efficient access to the interdisciplinary teams at the Shands Hospital for Children. UF pediatric experts are available for consultation in more than 13 medical specialties, including pediatric surgery, cardiology, and hematology and oncology.
Renovation of the hospital space to create the Pediatric ER has cost approximately $5 million. The goal is to fully fund the facility by raising $10 million to cover construction, equipment and operating support for the first two years.
The project has generated generous support from several donors including the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, Leo and Nola Flowers, Kay Davison, the Children’s Miracle Network, the UF student organization Dance Marathon and numerous pledges from UF and Shands faculty and staff members.