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Nemours Children's Hospital Holds Dedication Ceremony

Oct 04, 2012 | WMFE - Florida Governor Rick Scott and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater were among the speakers at the Nemours Children's Hospital dedication ceremony Thursday. The new state-of-the-art facility, part of Lake Nona's growing Medical City, will officially open October 22nd.

[Image: Nemours patient Delaney Hutchinson, second from right, poses with her family and her specialist Dr. Terri Finkel, center]

The outside ceremony also featured music, stiltwalkers and a very special ribbon cutting, which consisted of a group of children running through a wall of “silly string” into the hospital. Along with company executives and state officials, parents of children helped at other Nemours facilities spoke to the audience of about 100 dignitaries and staff.

Lori Paul’s son has been treated for cystic fibrosis by Nemours since just after his first birthday. Paul told the crowd she and other patient families were asked to help make the hospital’s design as kid-friendly as possible.

“One parent noticed that the surface over the patient bed was reflective,” she said. “The reflection could scare a toddler who might see himself with tubes coming out of his nose and arms. Based on that parent’s feedback, Nemours changed that surface over the bed and eliminated a potentially scary experience for many children.”

Paul now serves on the Nemours Family Advisory Council.

After the ceremony, CEO Roger Oxendale said that type of family involvement makes Nemours special.

“I would say our families and our focus on families and kids is number one, and that’s above everything else,” he said. “That’s why we had our Family Advisory Council interview the physicians [for the new facility], because we wanted the physicians to understand that.”

Nemours patient Delaney Hutchinson was also on hand to talk about her experience. Last year, the Orlando-area middle school student was in so much pain that she began using a wheelchair.

After countless hours on the road tracking down numerous doctors in search of a diagnosis, a Nemours specialist discovered that Delaney had juvenile arthritis. Delaney began treatment with the specialist, pediatric rheumatologist Dr. Terri Finkel, and the vibrant 14-year-old was soon able to walk again.

“I just wanted to jump up and down and dance around, because it was so great to feel better for once,” said Delaney.

Delaney’s treatment is ongoing, but with the area’s only specialist in her condition now based at Nemours in Orlando, Delaney has easier access to care. Nemours has a number of specialists like Dr. Finkel, who offer services not previously available in Central Florida.

Delaney had some advice for other kids struggling with illness. “Don’t ever give up, under any circumstances. Do not give up.”


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