Since opening its doors 10 years ago, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida has delivered on the promise of healing and hope. Nemours has turned the tide for millions of Florida families by providing innovative pediatric health care to the most medically challenged children. A special event at Nemours, “The Ripple Effects of Better Health,” brought community leaders together to celebrate this community resource.
“Opening this children’s hospital in Orlando was an important step in creating the nation’s largest integrated health system for pediatric patients,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, President and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health. “While we are proud how far we’ve come, it’s only the beginning. Nemours is committed to ensure that every child’s world is a place where they can thrive.”
More than 80 percent of a child’s health is due to factors that happen outside the doctor’s office. In response, Nemours Children’s has expanded initiatives outside the hospital walls to improve health and address disparities. It has engaged partners to find ways to prevent children from illness and hospitalization.
During the program, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida unveiled a community gift to address food insecurity, exacerbated by Hurricane Ian, for children in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties. In partnership with Blessings in a Backpack, Nemours Children’s will ensure kids in these schools will be provided nutritious meals for the weekend through the end of the school year. This community gift bridges the gap between a child’s school lunch on Friday and breakfast on Monday.
“Nemours Children’s is so grateful for our community partners, such as Blessings in a Backpack, as we know these relationships are pivotal in order to address health outside the walls of our hospital,” said Martha McGill, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida. “Equally important is our ability to care for some of the sickest children here in Florida and to provide them the highest quality of care.”
During its first 10 years, Nemours Children’s’ Health, Florida, has achieved the following:
- This year, U.S. News & World Report ranked its Orthopedic and Endocrinology programs as among the best in the nation.
- The Orthopedics program performs more operations than any other in Florida.
- Nemours Florida Cancer Center cares for more of Florida’s children with cancer and blood disorders than any other program in the state.
- The Cardiology department is the largest in the state with 16 cardiologists across 12 sites.
- Nemours’ investment in Pediatric Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology has created the largest and most experienced dual-trained pediatric radiology group in the state, ensuring the safest possible diagnostic and procedural care.
- Nemours offers a life-changing cochlear implant program for children with profound hearing loss.
At this special event, an inaugural award was unveiled in honor of the 24 years of service to Nemours Children’s Health by Robert Bridges, the current Chief Executive of Florida Operations for Nemours Children’s Health. The Robert D. Bridges “Elevating Children’s Health” award will be bestowed annually to a community champion who shares Bridges’ vision and passion for pediatric well-being as well as the next generation of leaders.
In 2014, the Leapfrog Group named Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida a “Top Hospital,” the only children’s hospital in the Southeast to garner this recognition for patient safety and quality achievements. The hospital has since achieved this designation five more times.
Celebrating a Decade, 70 Years in the Making
In building a unique family-centered pediatric facility, Nemours leveraged more than 70 years of experience to design and build a world-class 130-bed, 630,000-square-foot hospital. The Nemours Foundation was created in 1936 through the legacy of philanthropist Alfred I. duPont. Nemours began delivering his vision by founding the Alfred I. duPont Institute, a pediatric orthopedic hospital in Wilmington, Del., in 1940.
Nemours Children’s Hospital, Florida was one of only three children’s hospitals in the nation to achieve LEED Gold Certification when it opened. Then, Nemours was an early tenant in the Tavistock development area of Lake Nona. It remains an anchor for Lake Nona’s Medical City, a health and life sciences cluster. From October 17-23, Tavistock will showcase drawings by Nemours patients on its Beacon landmark at Lake Nona Town Center in honor of the hospital’s anniversary.
Nemours created a new and innovative training program in Florida for medical school graduates who want to become pediatricians. It recently welcomed its fourth class of pediatric residents, drawn from some of the country’s best medical schools. Over half of the first graduating class is now employed at Nemours in Central Florida.
As part of growing the next generation of providers who care for children, Nemours partners with University of Central Florida to offer educational curriculum for students, residents, and fellows and to engage in groundbreaking biomedical research.
“Nemours is ensuring a pipeline of pediatric providers across the state, which is good for Florida’s children, its communities, and economy,” said Bridges. “This positions us well as we work to realize our goal of improved health for Florida’s next generations.”
In Florida, Nemours spans a 700-mile footprint, comprised of 43 locations and 14 hospital collaborations from Pensacola to Jacksonville, and from Central Florida to the Treasure Coast. Nemours employs more than 3,500 associates in Florida, including more than 350 pediatric physician specialists and subspecialists, providing care for 1 in 9 of Florida’s children.
To give children the best start in life, they need access to preventive health services, yet Florida ranks last nationally in the number of children placed within a patient-centered medical home. As the region’s largest pediatric ambulatory care provider, Nemours Children’s Health has built a network to cover care at every level: primary, urgent, specialty, and tertiary.
“Nemours is working toward a future where health disparities no longer limit our communities’ children,” McGill added.
Nemours Children’s Health is one of the nation’s largest multistate pediatric health systems, which includes two free-standing children's hospitals and a network of more than 70 primary and specialty care practices. Nemours Children's seeks to transform the health of children by adopting a holistic health model that utilizes innovative, safe, and high-quality care, while also caring for the health of the whole child beyond medicine. Nemours Children's also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, Nemours KidsHealth.org.
The Nemours Foundation, established through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to the children, families and communities it serves. For more information, visit Nemours.org.