If you have been in or near the University of Rochester Medical Center lately, you could not help but have noticed that we have begun laying the literal foundation for our new Golisano Children’s Hospital at URMC. And while we are excited and know thatfamilies from deeper within and further away from Rochester are benefitting from our services, affirming that the new hospital is of critical importance for Upstate New York, we are a bit anxious, too. Whenever there is a public fundraising campaign, there evolve lots of complicated formulas and catchy slogans that urge you to give and proclaim vast success. But our message, and the reasons for our angst, are very simple: we have 28 months until we open the building and $20 million to raise between now and then to meet our obligations to those who plan and build it. That’s roughly $1million per month. Are our kids and families worth it? You bet they are. But we can no longer just cheer for them; we must all put our money where our mouths are.
The year 2012 saw some amazing things right here in Rochester. It saw Dr. Richard Bloom, a community pediatrician and member of the URMC clinical faculty, personally visit every other community pediatric practice office in Rochester to urge physician and staff participation in ROC the Day for Golisano Children’s Hospital. It saw the DiMarco family, Danny and Stenci Wegman, Manning & Napier, the Pike Company, Constellation Brands, Earthlink Business, and our own URMC Department of Surgery, make major commitments to Golisano Children’s Hospital through the Toast to Your Health Wine Auction. It saw our Golisano Children’s Hospital nurses step up in a big way to help fund the Nursing Education Center in the new hospital.
But, it also saw weeks at a stretch when our beds, and those of our partner, Rochester General Hospital Department of Pediatrics, were full, and children stabilized in our Emergency Department had to wait there for a bed to free up, while others out in the community had to be routed to Emergency Departments in Buffalo or Syracuse. While the average age of the people in Upstate New York may be climbing, the technological and medical equipment needs of our community have also skyrocketed. And I pray every night that I won’t have to say to even one family, “Yes, this treatment is theoretically available, but not right now or not right here for your child.”
Watch us build and grow through our East and West webcams, which are accessible Monday through Friday at www.urmc.edu/childrens-hospital. Then, give as much as you can – in person, by mail, through our telethon and radiothon, or online at www.givetokids.urmc.edu. Our region’s children and families are counting on each and every one of you.
With thanks and all the very best wishes for a happy, productive, and, especially, healthy 2013,
Nina F. Schor, MD, PhD
Pediatrician-in-Chief, Golisano Children’s Hospital
William H. Eilinger Chair of Pediatrics