UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital received a $100,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation to support the expansion of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. Construction is slated to begin in May and will be complete in one year.
The check presentation was held in the UF Health Founder’s Gallery and featured speakers Tim Goldfarb, chief executive officer of UF Health Shands, Scott Rivkees, M.D., chair of the UF College of Medicine department of pediatrics, and local leaders from Cox.
Named after Cox Enterprises’ founder, the James M. Cox Foundation provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. Cox Communications, the company’s broadband and cable entertainment subsidiary, operates in the Gainesville area.
The grant will support the NICU’s current $18 million expansion project, which will add more than 8,000 square feet and 16 new beds to the facility, allowing UF Health to respond to the ever-increasing demand for expert neonatal care. The renovated space is designed to emit a warm, home-like environment for patients and family members to help them thrive during such a difficult time in their lives.
The expansion will also allow the hospital to merge two existing levels of the NICU. The combined space will join the current 22-bed unit, which focuses on the stabilization and critical care needs of the newborn and the family, with the 30-bed unit that manages the recovery phase of the newborn. Each nurse’s station will be equipped with the latest technology in patient monitoring. The NICU project is one phase of ongoing renovations to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, which includes the new pediatric emergency room that opened in 2011, the recent expansion of the pediatric cardiac intensive care unit, and a new entrance with a multi-story glass pavilion and separate lobby space, slated for completion this summer.
“At UF Health, we place the patient at the center of everything we do,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and UF Health president. “That is why we are so grateful to the Cox Foundation for partnering with us to ensure the NICU space helps us to provide the highest quality care for our tiny patients and their families.”
Vice President of Cox Business-Southeast Region Harbin Bolton said the $100,000 grant reflects the longstanding partnership and tradition both UF Health and Cox carry to serve the pediatric patients in the Gainesville and Ocala markets.
“We believe this is the best way to identify, reach and bring life-enhancing, and in many cases, lifesaving innovations to the people who will benefit the most,” he said.
Cox Enterprises also operates television and radio stations, newspapers, Manheim, AutoTrader.com and Valpak throughout Florida.