By  //  October 22, 2012

New Facility Opens Oct. 22

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Victor Hugo once said that “there is nothing like a dream to create the future.”

Dr. Judy Wall is the Nemours Children’s Hospital’s Director of Medical Affairs. The staff is led by Dr. Lane Donnelly, vice president, chief medical officer and physician-in-chief, and Roger Oxendale, CEO and Senior Vice President of Nemours Children’s Hospital. (Image courtesy Nemous Children’s Hospital)

The visionaries behind the creation of the new Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando know exactly what Hugo meant and today are standing on the threshold of a new era for pediatric health care in Central Florida.

Today the doors officially open at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando and families with chronically ill children will find comfort in one of the finest pediatric staffs ever assembled in one setting.

Based in the Lake Nona Medical City, Nemours joins the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Orlando VA Medical Center and UCF’s College of Medicine in that area.

The decision to build Nemours Children’s Hospital s in Central Florida was led  by the Nemours’ Board of Directors who witnessed the growth of the pediatric population in the region.  Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City also created a powerful appeal, as the labs and medical school, allowed the opportunities for research and teaching, all just a few miles from one of the busiest airports in the country.

Alfred I. duPont (image courtesy Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust)

Nemours has had ties to Florida since its trust’s founder, Alfred I. duPont, began vacationing and later moving to the state in the latter part of his life. DuPont saw great business opportunity in Florida and settled in Jacksonville in the 1920s.

Today, Jacksonville is home to Nemours’ home office and the Alfred I. duPont Testamentary Trust – the primary benefactor to the Nemours Foundation.

The list of noted professionals assembled at the new hospital is astounding, including Chair of Pediatrics and Chief Scientific Research Officer Dr. Terri Finkel; Surgeon-in-Chief Dr. Kenneth Liechty; Orthopedics Chair Dr. Steven Frick; Anesthesiology Chair Dr. George Mychaskiw; Pathology and Laboratory Chair Dr. Kamran Badizadegan, Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Judy Wall and Chief Nurse Executive Barbara Meeks.

The staff is led by Dr. Lane Donnelly, vice president, chief medical officer and physician-in-chief, and Roger Oxendale, CEO and Senior Vice President of Nemours Children’s Hospital.

Employees started working at the 95-bed hospital in mid-July to help prepare the six-story, $397 million state-of-the art facility to hit the ground running.

Nemours Brightstart! targets young children who are screened in the fall of pre-kindergarten or kindergarten. For children identified as “at-risk” for reading failure, the program has developed a unique and powerful teaching curriculum for small-group instruction. (Image courtesy Nemours Children’s Hospital)


Nemours Children’s Hospital was built “for families, by families” and every aspect of the medical facility was planned, designed and constructed with the help of Central Florida families.

Before ground was even broken, Nemours created the Family Advisory Council, a group of parents, many with chronically ill children which provided them with extensive experiences with pediatric hospital   interacting with doctors and nurses on a daily basis, to solicit their feedback. The group shared thorough insight as to what future patients and families would want and need at Nemours Children’s Hospital. Their feedback helped with the appearance and functionality of Nemours Children’s Hospital’s many facets, from choosing the furniture in inpatient rooms to selecting physicians.

The Human Resources Department at Nemours trained members of the advisory group in behavioral interview techniques to interview final candidates for top physician and leadership positions, providing local moms and dads a role in recruiting many of the hospital’s leadership.

“Nemours Children’s Hospital is fully designed with input from the families we will serve and the idea to involve them in our hiring process truly complements our family-centered patient care model.” Roger Oxendale, CEO and senior vice presdient Nemours Children’s Hospital

“Nemours Children’s Hospital is fully designed with input from the families we will serve, and the idea to involve them in our hiring process truly complements our family-centered patient care model,” Oxendale said. “Incorporating their feedback on each candidate interviewed has only strengthened our commitment to recruiting the best possible health care providers, and even challenged my own opinions in ways that will ultimately have a positive impact on the service we provide.”

Nemours is a fully integrated health system with two free-standing hospitals providing premier multi-state coverage care.

Nemours Children’s Hospital will be an entire health campus providing access to a full-line of sub-specialty services and brings specialized-expert care not yet available in Central Florida. This new access to care will be greatly enhanced by the hospital and will elevate the quality of care provided in Orlando.

With its combination of clinical, research and academic components, Nemours Children’s Hospital will be unlike any other pediatric facility in Central Florida.

Nemours doctors are not only treating children, but also looking for ways to cure them. Nemours with Sanford-Burnham to house the lab space physician-researchers require to search for new treatments and cures for childhood illness. (image courtesy Nemours Children’s Hospital)


According to executives, Nemours is already becoming deeply involved in cooperative efforts with medical teaching and training facilities in Florida. The hospital’s prime location in Lake Nona Medical City gives Nemours an advantage to working in synergy with some of Orlando’s premier research and academic health facilities like the UCF College of Medicine and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. The close proximity of the organizations will encourage joint partnership as Medical City helps to make Orlando a leading health care and research destination.

In true collaboration, Nemours doctors will teach at UCF, and train students at the new hospital. Nemours Children’s Hospital will also be an option for medical students to fulfill their residency and eventually fellowships.

Nemours Children’s Hospital will also have the very first Muscular Dystrophy Association clinic in the Central Florida and will combat the disease.

With an eye on the future, Nemours Children’s Hospital has been designed to be progressive and able to adapt to the ever-evolving rigors of 21st century medicine. Cutting-edge technology is everywhere in the hospital with the most advanced medical equipment and latest in patient care squarely aimed at reducing suffering and saving precious young lives.

Aside from the new hospital, in Central Florida, Nemours has children’s clinics in Orlando, Lake Mary and Viera. Nemours also began a pediatric hospitalist program with Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne in an effort to further bring expanded pediatric care to the Central Florida region.

Nemours plan for a healthy lifestyle: 5-2-1 Almost None. Healthy Habits teaches preschool children about “sometimes” and “anytime” food, eating the colors of the rainbow and including movement in all play. (Image courtesy Nemours Children’s Hospital)


The partnership with Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne provides 24-hour hospitalist care for patients and families that help to reduce the need to transport patients out of the region for inpatient pediatric care and also help local pediatricians with necessary inpatient rounds that would otherwise limit their ability to assist other patients in their offices.

Nemours Children’s Hospital is also working further with primary care physicians to ensure every child receives the very best care. With Nemours’ advanced comprehensive electronic medical record system –NemoursOne – it will ensure each child’s progress is being tracked along the way, despite being treated at a clinic or hospital.

The Nemours electronic system is another component guaranteeing a seamless-care experience for patients and families so every health care provider is kept up-to-date on the patients care and progress.

Nemours emphasizes prevention and education as the foremost ways to keep children healthy.

Nemours is a hospital designed by families for families. A group of local moms and dads have been there every step of the way, meeting regularly with the hospital architect and other executives to provide feedback on the design and policies of the hospital. helping the architect, (Image courtesy Nemours Children’s Hospital)


Prevention continues to remain one of Nemours’ primary health goals and is part of their commitment to caring for the whole child. Nemours has been part of prevention programs for decades and its efforts will continue to expand with the opening of Nemours Children’s Hospital.

Two of the major prevention initiatives are Nemours BrightStart! early literacy program which helps to identify and teach children at risk for reading failure; and  Nemours Florida Prevention Initiative which implements policies and practices outside of the clinical environment promoting child health, its most prominent programs focus on the childhood obesity epidemic with its 5-2-1-Almost None campaign and encouraging healthy emotions and behaviors in young children.

Nemours is active in our community as a pro-active force for children’s health.

Nemours has been working with childcare organizations through the Winter Park Health Foundation on a Child Care Obesity Prevention Initiative at care settings in Eatonville, Maitland and Winter Park since last December.

They have also has partnered with various youth sports teams in the area including the Lake Nona Junior Lions Cheer & Football squads to encourage healthy activity and sportsmanship.

“I really think treating every child is a memorable and special success story.” Dr. Judy Wall, Nemours senior director of medical affairs

Beginning this fall, the hospital is sponsoring the naming rights to Lake Nona High School’s football stadium for the next five years.  Nemours recently provided backpacks in support of the “Second Annual District 4 Back to School Day” and offered breakfast to participants at the Latino Leadership Foundation’s Back to School event in August.

Why do they do it all? Despite the enormous challenges awaiting the staff of Nemours, everything all boils down to a simple concept. Just ask Nemours Senior Director of Medical Affairs, Dr. Judy Wall.

“I really think treating every child is a memorable and special success story. I very much enjoy taking care of children long term, thus one of my reasons for choosing hematology/oncology as a subspecialty,” Wall said.

“While the outcome for each child may vary, the opportunity to touch the life of a child, interact with the family, and support the referring physician is always a special time for me. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to provide this support.”