When it comes to the history of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, one question always comes to mind, “How did it get its name?”
While the man whose moniker graces the hospital was a very private person, Joe DiMaggio’s love for children led him to do a very noble deed. He lent his name to Memorial Healthcare System’s non-profit children’s hospital with the assurance from then President and CEO Frank V. Sacco to never turn a child away because the family could not pay a hospital bill. The deal was sealed with a handshake and a promise.
Since September 17, 1992 when the Yankee Clipper cut the ribbon and officially opened the doors of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, this promise has become engrained in the hospital’s mission and its commitment to serving the community. A quarter of a century later, the hospital is recognized for excellence and unyielding dedication to all children in the same spirit as its namesake.
Today, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is the leading children’s health provider in Broward and Palm Beach counties – part of Memorial Healthcare System, one of the largest public healthcare systems in the nation. The freestanding hospital is a four-story, 226-bed facility in Hollywood, Florida, that showcases an overall “Power of Play” philosophy with each floor displaying themes of Sports, Arts, Games and Dreams. Patients, families and visitors experience a whimsical world in which treatment and healing intertwine with medical expertise and family-centered care to provide an experience like no other in the Florida healthcare landscape.
“Since opening our doors, our philosophy of patient- and family-centered care has been consistent. It means that families and healthcare professionals are true partners working together to serve in the best interest of the patient,” said Chantal Leconte, Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.
This practice and philosophy earned the hospital a world-wide recognition as a “Planetree Designated® Person-Centered Organization.” This provides the children’s hospital a unique commendation for the compassion and care provided to patients beyond the clinical treatment and places them in a distinguished network of only 86 other healthcare organizations worldwide with the same designation. On the clinical front, the hospital has more than 650 physicians on staff, the region’s largest diversity of board-certified pediatric specialists. It has developed into a premier, specialized, quaternary care facility qualified to treat some of the most complex and critical medical conditions. Hence, it has been ranked nationally by US News and World Report among the best children’s hospitals in the nation for five consecutive years.
Through the years, its clinical expertise has grown to offer programs from rehabilitation to dialysis, as well as, oncology, cardiac surgery, intensive and emergency care to name a few. In 2010, the hospital received federal approval from UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) to launch a pediatric heart transplant program, clearing the path for the first heart transplant in the hospital’s history. Since then, the cardiac surgery team has performed 34 transplants. The hospital is preparing to launch a pediatric kidney transplant program. In 2018, the hospital will continue its expansion north by opening its first specialty practice in Wellington, making this the third pediatric specialty practice in Palm Beach with the other two located in Boca Raton.
“From its beginnings, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital was designed to stand out as a strong advocate for children’s health and wellness,” Leconte said. “Now, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we look forward to continued growth and service to our patients and families.”
To learn more visit www.JDCH.com.