March 3, 2005 (St. Petersburg, FL) All Children’s planned replacement hospital is $5-million closer to reality today, thanks to a fundraising pledge from area Wal-Mart stores and SAM’S CLUBS. More than 250 associates from the retailers’ stores and distribution centers across Florida’s west coast gathered at the hospital’s Education & Conference Center today to celebrate their contribution to the 2004 All Children’s Hospital Telethon. In light of the major construction project about to get underway, that $731-thousand donation by Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB was earmarked as the first payment on an even larger pledged gift -- a total of $5-million to help fund the Pediatric Emergency Center in the new hospital, slated to open in 2008.
All Children’s Hospital representatives unveiled conceptual drawings of what the new Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Emergency Center may look like to an applauding audience of store associates, as well as appreciative representatives from the Wal-Mart home office in Bentonville, Arkansas; the president of the Children’s Miracle Network and top administrators for All Children’s Hospital.
“Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB associates made the largest single contribution to our 2004 Telethon, and have been long-time supporters of our mission,” said Gary Carnes, President & CEO of All Children’s Health System. “Since becoming involved with the All Children’s Hospital Telethon in 1988, Wal-Mart and SAM’S CLUB have contributed more than $6.5-million to our hospital. They’ve helped to fund the MRI currently in use in All Children’s Imaging Center. Most recently, they’ve funded the Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Chair in Pediatric Oncology for cancer studies at the Children’s Research Institute jointly operated by All Children’s and the University of South Florida. This latest, most generous pledge will help to create a new home for one of the hospital’s most essential services, the Pediatric Emergency Center that currently provides 24-hour access to All Children’s care for more than 30,000 kids every year.”
“We have created a very rewarding partnership with All Children’s Hospital, helping them achieve significant goals by means of corporate donations and customer contributions through our associates’ fundraising efforts,” says Betsy Reithemeyer, Vice President of Wal-Mart Corporate Affairs and the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation. “It will be with the help of our associates and customers that we will achieve this new goal for All Children’s. Ultimately it’s the children of the Tampa and St. Petersburg surrounding areas whose lives are most impacted and saved.”
All Children’s Hospital is part of the Children’s Miracle Network, an alliance of premier hospitals for children. CMN is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids by raising funds for 170 childrens hospitals across North America through partnerships with their local TV and radio stations to create events such as the highly successful All Children’s Hospital Telethon.
“We are very grateful to the millions of Wal-Mart customers and associates who have participated in local fundraisers to help organizations like All Childrens," said Mick Shannon, co-founder of Childrens Miracle Network. "Their fund-raising efforts are unprecedented, and continue to grow stronger each year."
Construction of the new All Children’s Hospital will begin later this spring on a site at the corner of Sixth Street and Sixth Avenue South. The property, already owned by the hospital, is currently the site of its Resource Center, where several non-patient care departments were formerly housed. The planned eight-story facility will increase All Children’s total number of patient beds from 216 to 240, all of which will be situated in individual rooms with space for parents to stay overnight. Other features include:
- Thirteen larger Operating Rooms, spacious enough for future technologies
- Expanded Intensive Care Units
- Coordinated care for mothers and newborns, with the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the southeast
- An adjoining Comprehensive Outpatient Services Center, to house state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, pediatric rehabilitative/therapy services and physician offices for routine visits.
- And of course… the new enlarged Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Pediatric Emergency Center, with a helipad and pedestrian walkway to link the Pediatric Trauma program jointly operated with neighboring Bayfront Medical Center.
All Children’s existing hospital has admirably served the community’s children for more than forty years. But the structure has reached the limit of its expansion capability, therefore limiting All Children’s ability to keep up with demands for updated technologies and increasing services. Though specific uses are still under discussion, the current facility will continue to be used for healthcare purposes after All Children’s moves into its new hospital in 2008.
More information about Wal-Mart’s charitable giving per state and other causes and programs can be found at www.walmartfacts.com. More information about the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation is available at www.walmartfacts.com. More information about the Wal-Mart & SAM’S CLUB Foundation is available at www.walmartfoundation.org.
News media representatives interested in obtaining interviews or video from today’s announcement are invited to come to the All Children’s Hospital Education & Conference Center, 701 Fourth Street South in St. Petersburg. Those unable to attend may contact All Children’s Media Relations Manager Ann Miller/ (727) 767-8592 to arrange separate interviews.
Available spokespersons include:
Gary Carnes – President & CEO, All Children’s Health System
Mick Shannon – Co-Founder, Children’s Miracle Network
Brad Fisher – Director, Wal-Mart/SAM’S CLUB Foundation
Mike Quinn – Regional Vice President, Wal-Mart
Melissa O’Brien – Senior Manager, Wal-Mart Corporate Communications