The James M. Cox Foundation granted $100,000 to the UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit during a check-presentation ceremony on April 10. The unit sees almost 1,000 premature and near-term babies per year, many with neurological injuries or heart problems.
The funds will be used to expand the current unit by adding 16 beds and merging the Level 2 and 3 areas, thereby relieving overcrowding and allowing for improved waiting areas and spaces for siblings to visit the infants. Renovations are scheduled to begin in May 2014 and be complete by May 2015. These renovations join several others, like the recently completed Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and the ongoing upgrades to the hospital’s exterior.
“The reality is that we could not care for these children the way they deserve without organizations like the Cox Foundation and individual employees that are committed to doing this,” said UF Health Shands CEO Tim Goldfarb. “It’s really about these kids, who fight 24/7 just to be out in the Sun like we all were this morning.”
Cox Communications Executive Field Director Kevin Monroe said the Cox Foundation was excited to help grow Shands. “We thought we knew UF Health Shands pretty well, but during this process we realized that we never stopped to think about all that you really do for the community. When we’re in need, you’re there for us at all times, and we think it’s important for the community to take care of Shands.”
Cox Field Operations Manager Tim Heibert wrapped up the presentation by speaking about how the neonatal unit cared for two of his six children and how his oldest daughter, a college senior, was inspired in her studies by the care the family experienced at Shands.
“We’re excited about the grant and the investment in growth in Shands and the NICU,” he said, “but from all of the thousands of parents and families who celebrate what Shands does every day, and the miracles you pull out, we thank you for everything you do.”