Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation Milestone Timeline and More

70th anniversary logo

In an effort to give every child the chance at a healthy future, we rely on community support from people and organizations like you. Here, we recognize the incredible impact of visionaries, volunteers and generous philanthropists who partner with us in meaningful ways to provide the very best care to our children and families when they need us most. Ongoing philanthropic support has helped us innovate, improve patient outcomes, carry out groundbreaking research, acquire state-of-the art equipment and expand programs and services that have made a difference for generations of children.

In this historical timeline, we highlight several significant moments and transformational gifts that have been instrumental to our hospital’s remarkable growth and progress. However, we cannot understate the impact of the hundreds of thousands of supporters who have given and continue to give generously year after year.  No matter the size, every contribution helps to change and save lives, and for this, you have our heartfelt thanks.


Patsy Clark writes letter to Santa asking for a children’s hospital in our community


Dr. Arthur H. Weiland, a leading orthopedic surgeon, dreams of building a hospital in South Florida for crippled children; a vision that will be realized within a few years


The Crippled Children’s Society turns over management and maintenance of the hospital to Variety International’s (a leading charitable organization affiliated with the entertainment industry) Club Tent 33


With funding from Variety International, Variety Children’s Hospital opens its doors just as the polio epidemic was encompassing the United States


Obelisk erected on hospital grounds honoring founders/ benefactors: Col. Robert Pentland, Jr., George C. Hoover, Roscoe Brunstetter and Jack Cleary


Variety Children’s is recognized as a teaching hospital with a focus on pediatrics

Variety Children’s Research Foundation Laboratory named in honor of Jack Bell, a journalist who was the driving force behind the Committee of 100, a Variety Club group committed to raising $100,000 a year for the hospital and which raised $117,000 in 1958 to match a government grant - guests at the dedication include Debbie Reynolds and Mickey Spillane

1960s and 70s

Variety Children’s grows to meet the needs of the growing Miami population, including an influx of refugees fleeing communist Cuba


With the generous support of United True Order Sisters (UOTS), the hospital dedicated a 2,000 sq. ft. facility dedicated solely to expanding pediatric/oncology services. The newly named John Wayne Pavilion recognized UOTS – Miami 43 support of pediatric hematology/oncology


Estate of Sue-Byrd Pentland (wife of Founder Col. Robert C. Pentland) makes a significant legacy gift


Ambassador David M. Walters activates Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation


Variety Children’s Hospital becomes Miami Children’s Hospital

MCH Foundation launches a three-phase campaign called “A Campaign for Our Children; Phase I raised $49.8 million to fund construction; Phase II raised $25 million to establish a pediatric research institute; and Phase III raised $25 million to help establish an academic presence at the hospital


Gifts from benefactors and founders Bernice & Harry Simone name The Harry & Bernice Simone Wing

The Ambassador David M. Walters International Pediatric Hall of Fame recognizes its first inductees: Walt Disney, Dr. Jonas Salk, Dr. Helen Taussiq and Bob Keeshan (Capt. Kangaroo); 75 world-renown champions of children are now members of the Hall of Fame 


Became a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® member, nearly $40 million raised to date for Nicklaus Children’s by partner organizations
James L. Knight makes significant gift that names the main hospital building the Mary Ann Knight International Institute of Pediatrics after his late wife


The Miami Children’s Hospital Pediatric Research Institute opens its doors

Solomon Klein Foundation gift names the Solomon Klein Pavilion


Bettina Wattles, a generous patron of Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, names the Roger & Bettina Wattles Wing and the Roger & Bettina Wattles Foundation Building


The Batchelor Foundation names the George E. Batchelor Research and Academic Pavilion and continues to support the hospital


U.S. News & World Report names Miami Children’s Hospital the best pediatric institute in the Southeast


The Dan Marino Foundation makes a generous gift that names the Dan Marino Outpatient Center in Weston


Samuel Blank & Family Foundation – Million Dollar Club members – names the Sam & Bea Blank Pavilion


Florida Blue gift names the Brain Institute’s “Blue Concourse” and continues to serve as a steadfast partner of the hospital and foundation


A generous bequest from the Estate of Ralph George Hasker funds an entertainment area in the newly expanded Emergency Department, which is named the Hasker Teddy Bear Zone


Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation launches the five-year “Together For The Children” campaign that raised $150 million for the hospital

Florence Groover Frank – “Grande Dame” of the Foundation leaves a sizeable estate gift

The Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez Family names The Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez Family Pediatric Trauma Center  


The Anthony R. Abraham Foundation names the Orthopedics Lobby


Raul Rodriguez names The Raul Rodriguez Fracture Care Center

Pledge from the Barbara and Jack Nicklaus’ Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation renamed Miami Children’s Hospital as Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and later also Nicklaus Children’s Health System

Gladys M. Stewart leaves a generous gift from her estate to help sick children; Main Campus PCC named The Gladys M. & Frederick Stewart Pediatric Care Center


Trust of Rita Auerbach Wallach provides a generous legacy gift that names the APCP Lobby

Cherie and Jack Denson make generous gift that names the Denson Family Neurology-Neurosurgery Floor in the APCP

Laurie and Robert Lucks make a generous gift that names the Lucks Family Neonatal Intensive Care Floor


Carlos J. Arboleya, Sr., a former Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation board member, makes generous gift that names
The Marta & Carlos J. Arboleya, Jr. Pediatric Intensive Care Floor in the APCP in honor of his late wife and son

Ruth Waltz makes a generous gift that names the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Lobby in the APCP

Lawrence J. and Florence A. De George Charitable Trust makes generous gift to further the Telehealth initiative


Ravneet Chowdhury, a Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation chair and husband Anand Chowdhury, make generous contributions that name the Nirvair Chowdhury Midtown Outpatient Center in honor of their son, Nirvair


Linda and Morton Bouchard make a generous gift that names The Morton & Linda Bouchard Healing Garden in the APCP

The Esrick Dream Foundation names the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Floor in the APCP

Lynn and Frank Scaduto make a generous gift that names the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Floor in the APCP


The Samuel C. Cantor Charitable Trust and Eddy and Helaine Cantor make gift that names the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Lobby

A gift from The Honda Classic, in partnership with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, benefits pediatric services in Palm Beach County and free dental care provided by the Mobile Dental Van for underserved kids

A gift from the Miami Dolphins supported the care of children with diabetes and sickle cell disease, as well as research related to COVID-19 

A significant gift from Foundation board member Michelle Hagerty and husband Michael support the hospital’s greatest needs, naming the Michelle & Michael Hagerty Advanced Pediatric Care Pavilion Plaza

Frank Scaduto donated a significant gift to benefit the neonatal intensive care unit


A $5 million gift from Michelle and Michael Hagerty to expand and enhance the inpatient Psychiatry Unit, doubling its current capacity, to treat and care for patients.

A $5 million gift from VoLo Foundation, thanks to co-founders David S. Vogel and Thais Lopez Vogel. The donation will advance pediatric surgery, with an emphasis on cardiac surgery, supporting important advancements in state-of-the-art medical technologies and innovations, medical education and expansions in surgical operating suites.

Coral Gables healthcare entrepreneur Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez donated his personal Sikorsky ® S76 C+ helicopter, which will benefit the LifeFlight ® critical care transport team at Nicklaus Children’s.

A major grant from The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation to support autism care and psychiatry.

A major grant from Rotary Club of Key Biscayne and the Rotary Club of Windsor Roseland, Canada to expand access to telebehavioral health screenings.

A major grant from The Taft Foundation to implement the use of virtual reality (VR) to reduce child anxiety in clinical settings.


A $25 million gift from Ken Griffin to advance surgical care at Nicklaus Children’s, naming the new surgical tower which is set to open in 2024.

A $2 million gift from Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation to support various areas of the hospital including cardiac surgery, child life, cancer research, and pediatric services at Jupiter Medical Center.

A $1,149,000 grant from the Glenn W. Bailey Foundation to provide innovative healthcare technologies to patients, including establishment of the PGx genetic testing program and support of the Cardiac Surgery Advanced Projects Laboratory.

A $1 million planned gift from the estate of Carlos Malamud to support pediatric epilepsy services and programs.

A $1 million gift from Michelle and Michael Hagerty to support the hospital’s greatest needs.

A $1 million gift from VoLo Foundation to support the new surgical tower.

A $300,000 gift from John Paul Medina to support the creation of the Medina Innovation Lab that will leverage technology to improve the patient experience.

The Sourcing Group, LLC donated personal protective equipment for frontline clinicians, with a total value of $260,000.

A $250,000 gift from The Altman Family Foundation, Inc. to support the Patient Assistance Fund for families with unmet financial need.

A $250,000 gift from Juan Carlos and Vivian Mas to support the new surgical tower.

A $250,000 bequest gift from Melisa and Fred Levenson to support the hospital’s greatest needs.

As you read through our donor history, we invite you to help us be there for the children by making an investment in their future through a contribution to Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation.