Published on: 02/22/2022
Rotary has awarded Nicklaus Children’s Hospital $333,125 to support the expansion of the hospital's tele-behavioral health program.
The grant is a joint initiative of the Rotary Club of Key Biscayne in Florida and the Rotary Club of Windsor Roseland in Ontario, Canada. These critical funds will enable the hospital to expand availability of mental healthcare services for South Florida children and their families, addressing the increased demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, while also providing services in a safe virtual setting.
The grant builds upon Nicklaus Children's existing telehealth program, Pediatric Virtual Care, which has been operational since 2013. Pediatric Virtual Care offers convenient access to pediatric care for a wide range of services from the comfort of home, or other location.
The grant funding is provided through The Rotary Foundation – Rotary’s charitable arm – to select programs undertaken by Rotary members that support sustainable, defined community needs around the world.
“While the pandemic has presented extraordinary challenges for us all, it has been especially devastating for children,” says Jennifer Jones, President-elect of Rotary International. “This grant helps provide immediate care to those who are most vulnerable and includes generous support from Rotary clubs in Taiwan, Korea, Canada and the United States. It truly demonstrates that the needs of children transcend borders and boundaries.”
“Nicklaus Children’s is tremendously grateful for this generous support,” said Matthew A. Love, President and CEO of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. “This remarkable civic-minded organization truly understands the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health status of the children of our community. Thanks to this generous grant, we will be able to acquire equipment and hire additional mental health professionals to expand services to children in need.”
Nicklaus Children’s is working hard to address the behavioral health needs of the region, aided by telehealth, which enables the hospital to safely serve more children than in the traditional office-based model. In 2021, the hospital conducted nearly 30,000 virtual consultations and visits, with tele-behavioral health accounting for 51 percent of these. This follows another busy year in 2020, when the hospital conducted over 31,000 virtual visits, with 42 percent involving behavioral health.
The Rotary Club of Key Biscayne works closely with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital on local and regional advocacy initiatives and special event development. Later this year, once it is safe to gather again, Rotary club members and Nicklaus Children’s leaders will host an event to promote awareness of the mental health needs of the region’s children and recognize donors, partners and contributors.
Learn more about Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Virtual Care.