Phi Mu Day brings southeastern chapters together for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Phi Mu Fraternity, a national partner for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, consistently demonstrates their commitment to the well-being of young patients at children’s hospitals throughout the year.  

Since 1986, Phi Mu has dedicated their efforts to raising funds and awareness for member hospitals of CMN Hospitals, and for UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, three chapters of Phi Mu showcase their dedication to advancing children’s health each year. In 2018, Phi Mu kicked-off a 5-year, 10-million dollar pledge and completed it early in July 2023. In that time, members of Phi Mu at the University of Florida, Florida State University and Valdosta State University collectively raised an impressive $218,000.

A group of women in front of a hospital

To celebrate their achievement, representatives from the Phi Mu Alpha Epsilon chapter (FSU) and Kappa Beta chapter (VSU) traveled to Gainesville, Fla., for a tour of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. The visit served as a tangible connection to their fundraising efforts, allowing members to witness firsthand the vital work being done at the children’s hospital and how the funds they raise make it possible.

“I am so glad I got to see how the hospital operates,” said one member of Phi Mu. “I love that our funds raised go to such an amazing hospital with such amazing staff and programs! I was amazed by how it makes the patients feel more at home and comfortable in a place that can be so scary and nerve wracking for children. The Child Life specialists, playrooms, and Child Life program seem so amazing, and I wish I could be closer to the hospital to volunteer.”

While the UF chapter is more familiar with the children’s hospital due to proximity, extending an invitation to tour the hospital for Florida State and Valdosta State chapters was significant to both groups, as the children’s hospital sees many patients from the Tallahassee and Valdosta regions.

A picture of a painted tree with thumbprints

After the tour, over 100 members convened at the UF chapter house for lunch and a brief program highlighting their charitable support and time with Miracle Families who serve as ambassadors of the children’s hospital. Members had the opportunity to listen to Julia Rusler, the philanthropy advisor for the Alpha Nu (UF) chapter and a Child Life specialist at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, followed by a message from MK Hilb, a Senior Manager of Business Development from CMN Hospitals who manages the national Phi Mu relationship.

The day concluded with legacy-building activities aimed at fostering closer bonds among the chapters and representing the work of the UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine program. Each chapter had the opportunity to construct a painted family tree, with members adding their thumbprints to complete the branches. Activities concluded with members expressing their “why,” and discussing the impact of their collective efforts.

We are so grateful for the partnership that we share with Phi Mu and our local chapters. The efforts and dedication from the members serve as a strong reminder what is possible when we all come together for children’s health. Thank you, Phi Mu, for helping to make a difference!