Jock jams echoed through the Atrium while Shands at UF employees and visitors alike gathered in line at the cotton candy machine, mouths watering. It wasn’t your typical Monday morning in January. This particular Monday marked the official kick-off of the 2013 employee campaign, Raising Hope at Work for Babies.
Just as employees were getting settled into the Atrium, popcorn and cotton candy in hand, Shands at UF leadership dressed in basketball jerseys came running through a line of staff cheerleaders, dribbling basketballs and heading toward the stage.
“We have an exciting opportunity in front of us to make a critical impact in the lives of our tiniest and most fragile patients and their families,” said Irene Alexaitis, vice president, nursing and patient services, and chair for this year’s campaign. “All of the funds raised will support the renovation of our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is a project that is truly exciting, and it has the potential to positively change the way that babies are cared for at Shands.”
A March Madness-style campaign, Raising Hope at Work for Babies encourages a little friendly competition amongst Shands at UF employees – with the goal for each team to make it to the final four, and of course, to ultimately be reigned champion. Each team’s position in the bracket is based on participation in the campaign and the amount of dollars raised. More importantly though, is what the campaign benefits.
“To better serve these patients and their families, we need a more spacious, technologically advanced NICU to provide the most advanced care, treatment and support,” said Tim Goldfarb, CEO, Shands HealthCare. “Furthermore, we need a facility that puts the focus right where it should be – on the family. And that’s just what we plan to do.”
Goldfarb went on to explain that the renovated NICU will feature more than 20,000 square feet of space, including 16 additional beds, three more private family rooms, and an updated facility with a more modern, organic feel.
The goal for Raising Hope at Work for Babies is $125,000. The competition will end on March 31.