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U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and his Wife Grace to Chair Nemours' Fall Gala

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014


ORLANDO, Fla. – One of Florida’s best known couples has agreed to head an effort to improve medical services for children and families in the state and beyond. U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and his wife Grace will serve as honorary chairs of ‘A Night with Nemours’  an event that supports the Nemours Fund for Children’s Health. 

It’s a black tie gala set for Friday, Oct.10, at Orlando’s Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. The event will help raise money to support the medical transport team at Nemours Children’s Hospital. These teams operate specialized ambulances that are essentially intensive care units on wheels. The teams use the units to carefully move children with very complex conditions from all across Central Florida to the specialized care at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona. They are able to begin treatment in transport.

“Nemours is drawing patients from all over the world and with the Nelson’s support, more children will safely and rapidly be transported to the specialized care they need,” said Roger Oxendale, CEO of Nemours Children’s Hospital. “Nemours and Florida families are very fortunate to have two great Floridians, Bill and Grace Nelson, supporting this important effort to strengthen the transport team.”

Since opening in October of 2012, Nemours Children’s Hospital has cared for children and families from nearly every county in Florida, 48 out of 50 states and 49 countries.

Grace Nelson’s family has a long-history of supporting pediatric health in Florida. In 1973, her mother, Ellen Cavert started the Woman’s Board to support Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville.

John and Carolyn Lord and Marc and Sharon Hagle are the working chairs of the ‘Night with Nemours’ committee. The committee also includes David and Beth Dizney, Drs. Lane Donnelly and Carolina Guimaraes, Bill and Jennifer Dymond, Len and Gerry Habas, Toni Jennings, Ted Maines and Jeff Miller, Tony and Jann Massey, Roger and Diane Oxendale, Chip and Kimberly Smallwood, Jon-Mark and Marie Sprowl, Robert and Lisa Utsey, Rick and Trish Walsh, Brian and Julie Watson.

Nemours has been growing rapidly in Florida. After opening Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City, the system now has 19 locations in Central Florida including Nemours Children’s Primary Care, Nemours Children’s Urgent Care and Nemours Children’s Specialty Care. 

Just last month, Nemours announced it would place pediatric hospitalists at Wuesthoff Regional Medical Center- Rockledge. A similar agreement with Heart of Florida Regional Medical Center in Davenport was announced in 2013.

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.