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Parents Honored for Partnership in Designing New Children's Hospital

Thursday, Oct 4, 2012

Nemours Children's Hospital, Orlando

When the $397-million Nemours Children’s Hospital opens on Oct. 22, it will be a hospital built by families, for families. To celebrate the upcoming opening, the hospital held its dedication ceremony earlier today with hundreds of children, parents, partners, and advocates in attendance.

A key moment of the ceremony included a group of children running through a wall of ‘silly string’ as they entered the hospital for the first time. 

The ceremony also recognized the Central Florida parents who worked closely with the hospital’s architect and interviewed finalists for positions at the hospital. The parent-interviewers entered the ceremony on a raised platform along with the doctors they helped select.

“What is most unique to me about the hospital is the amazing way Nemours chose to partner with families to shape this very important place,” said Lori Paul, Family Advisory Council member. “And, by working so closely with families, it ensures that families are at the center of every decision.”

“Together, we all have created a place of hope and healing for the children and families of Central Florida,” said Roger Oxendale, CEO of Nemours Children’s Hospital.

Nemours Children’s Hospital‘s sole focus is children; it is not part of a broader health system that includes care for adults. With it’s opening, Nemours will bring new specialties, not only to the state but the region as well. In attendance at the event were some of the specialists putting Nemours at the forefront of pediatric care, including:

  • Cartland Burns, M.D., who is the first pediatric surgeon in the southeast specializing in a procedure to dramatically improve the lives of children living with intestinal failure.
  • Craig Johnson, M.D., who is the first fellowship trained pediatric interventional radiologist in Florida.
  • Terri Finkel, M.D. PhD, who is the chair of pediatrics; the first pediatric rheumatologist based in Orlando; and conducting three federally funded areas of research at Sanford-Burnham.
  • Richard Finkel, M.D., who is internationally known for his treatment and research of neuromuscular disorders. With his arrival, Nemours will offer a Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic, not presently available in Orlando.
  • Ken Liechty, M.D., who is the chair of surgery; surgeon-in-chief; director of fetal medicine; the first fetal surgeon in the southeast; and conducting research in lab space at Sanford-Burnham, a Lake Nona Medical City Partner.

“Our doctors will do more than treat patients,” Oxendale said. “They will work to find cures to illnesses so that our daughters and sons can lead happy, normal lives to the best of their ability and help train the next generation of doctors right here in Orlando.”

Located in the heart of Lake Nona Medical City, the state-of-the-art, 630,000-square-foot hospital will have 95 beds and anchor a 60-acre, fully-integrated health campus that includes a new Nemours Children’s Clinic, a full-service emergency department, and extensive research and education facilities.

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.