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SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. introduces Million Reasons to Give campaign to fund much-needed surgical equipment for new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

Children are not little adults, and pediatric health care requires special tools, equipment and technology that is made just for young patients. To help provide the special surgical instruments and communication and monitoring technology that a state-of-the-art children’s hospital needs to effectively serve its patients, SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. presents “A Million Reasons to Give,” calling on auction bidders at the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest and the entire community to help fund approximately $1 million in tools, equipment and technology to ensure quality care for young patients at the new Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Serving the needs of patients at various ages and stages of development, from newborn infants and toddlers to school children and teens, pediatric surgeons require a large array of specialized surgical tools to safely and effectively perform lifesaving procedures.

“The instruments we need are physical things, but what you’re really providing is something intangible and so much more valuable,” said Dr. Amy Stanfill, pediatric surgeon at Golisano Children’s Hospital. “It’s lifesaving surgery on newborns that weigh less than five pounds. It’s surgery for a teenager that might literally change the course of his life. I can’t explain how needed this is, and I am overwhelmed by the generosity of this program.”

For the first time, the “Fund a Cause” initiative of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. is featured online, allowing anyone to view the list of equipment needs and to donate directly to the purchase of lifesaving equipment and technology at www.swflwinefest.org.

“They aren’t the same size, and they don’t communicate the same way, but children deserve lifesaving care that is equally safe and effective,” said Dorothy Fitzgerald, vice-president and a trustee of the SWFL Children’s Charities, Inc. “And with the new Golisano Children’s Hospital preparing to open next year, it’s an opportune time to raise the funds and stock the new hospital with the most advanced surgical tools and technologies available for pediatric care. It’s a great way for not only the auction bidders to show their support, but everyone in the community can contribute.”

In addition to the need for new surgical tools, building a new children’s hospital has presented many opportunities to enhance the environment to better care for pediatric patients through advanced technologies. One example is the new smartphone technology communication devices that will be incorporated in the NICU. This new technology will enhance the way infants are monitored real time in their rooms. The interactive system is just one example of the many lifesaving medical devices donors can purchase for the new Golisano Children’s Hospital through “A Million Reasons to Give.”

“We have learned from some of the leading children’s hospitals across the country that new technology is critical to providing the highest quality care to our patients and families,” said Kathy Bridge-Liles, chief administrative officer, Golisano Children’s Hospital. “Just as many professionals rely on technology to achieve their goals, we will rely upon technology to protect the little ones in our care.”

Adding smartphone technology to the NICU at the new Golisano Children’s Hospital will cost approximately $350,000, a large portion of the $1 million “A Million Reasons to Give” fund. In addition to the state-of-the-art equipment needed, the innovation will be incorporated into the new hospital’s information technology system and hospital staff will be expertly trained.

“The new single-room NICUs require changes in the way nurses are alerted to patient needs,” added Bridge-Liles. “Other NICU technology experts, including those at Golisano Children’s Hospital at University of Rochester Medical Center, use this technology. We know that this technology is critical to providing the highest quality of care to our patients and families.”

The 2016 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest events include the Chef Vintner Dinners on Friday, Feb. 26 and The Grand Tasting & Live Auction on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

The SWFL Children’s Charities Inc.’s annual signature fundraiser, the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest, has raised and donated $12.8 million over the past seven years, making it the most successful fundraising event in Lee County and one of the top-grossing charitable wine fests in the country. Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the primary beneficiary of the event, and the money raised helps to fund the building of the new family-centered children’s hospital that will provide new and expanded medical services and subspecialty services to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. In addition to providing funds for the new state-of-the-art Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, the SWFL Children’s Charities supports healthcare programs and student scholarships at Florida SouthWestern State College and Florida Gulf Coast University. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.

Photo 1: Infant warming beds are required in order to keep babies warm throughout surgical procedures.

Photo 2: Infant and Toddler Laparotomy Trays include tools that allow physicians to examine the abdominal organs of a baby or toddler.

Photo 3: The Philips Ambient MRI Environment allows patients to choose from several themes and watch as the room transforms into a relaxing ambience through calming sounds and soothing images.

Photo 4: Phoropters are used during an eye exam, as well as to identify problems such as astigmatism.

Photo 5: An OCT is a medical imaging technique that uses light to capture three dimensional images of structures within the eye, such as the optic nerve and retina.

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