Variety’s inspirational tour of the Winnie Palmer Hospital January 31, 2017 10:54 PM

On January 10, 2017, Variety – the Children’s Charity of Florida was honored to have Barbie Hislop, the President of Variety International come to visit us in Orlando. We started the evening with a very inspirational tour of the NICU at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies hosted by Dr. Gregor Alexander for whom the Alexander Center for Neonatalogy is named. Our tent has contributed $500,000.00 to the ECMO machine which stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a technology that does the work of the heart and lungs in infants and children with acute, severe respiratory or cardiac disease. Simply put, ECMO breathes for them until their lungs can heal; if the heart needs healing, ECMO takes over the heart’s work. Hundreds of babies have been saved since Arnold Palmer Hospital first offered this technology to the Central Florida community in 1989 – the first of only four ECMO programs in the state. The success rate for seriously ill babies who recover through ECMO at the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies is over 90 percent. The Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies has the largest NICU under one roof in the entire nation and has 142 beds. They see 1,800 babies per year and their average daily census is 120.

Twins were born 15 weeks early on the day of our tour and Dr. Alexander obtained permission from the parents for us to see them up close. Some of our board members were moved to tears but those of us who have been active members of Variety since 1989 have seen some of these tiny, premature babies grow up, thrive, go to college and have careers. A few of them who are in the 20’s now have even come back to the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies to have their own babies delivered by Dr. Alexander.

Our monthly board meeting in one of the hospital’s spacious board rooms followed the tour. Barbie Hislop started the meeting with an excellent presentation on branding and we had a very productive board meeting.

To learn more about Variety – the Children’s Charity of Florida, click here