Dance Marathon Impact Report: 2015-2016

CMN DM at UF_crop


UF Health Shands Chief Executive Officer Edward Jimenez

rivkees-labOn behalf of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, an affiliate Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, thank you for an extraordinary year.

During 2015-2016, you were part of an effort that raised more than $4 million for the 150,000 patients treated at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. That’s the magic of Dance Marathon ­­­­— the money you helped raise stayed right here in your community.

What did you help us achieve? Your support for Dance Marathon purchased art supplies for our Arts in Medicine team so that our young patients have a creative outlet for their emotions. These dollars buy pull out sleeper sofas for patient rooms so the kids in our care can have their family nearby. They fund pediatric research so that the complex medical issues of today become part of our history tomorrow.

These dollars add up to make miracles happen.

Thank you for joining the Dance Marathon movement — you are making miracles happen for our youngest patients.

Edward Jimenez
Chief Executive Officer
UF Health Shands

Scott Rivkees, M.D.
Professor and Chairman
UF College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics


2015-2016 Totals


Three Dance Marathon programs supported UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital and raised a total of $4,057,670.

  • Dance Marathon at the University of Florida: $2,434,315
  • Dance Marathon at Florida State University:  $1,435,120
  • Owlthon at Florida Atlantic University: $188,234

3,500 dancers stood for nearly 80 hours

More than 10,000 students participated across three campuses

21 high school Dance Marathon programs across Florida and southern Georgia raised nearly $250,000


Areas of Impact


Programs and Services

Nick June 2016Dance Marathon connects participating students with patients like Nick Mullen, forming a special bond that time and again outlasts a hospital stay. This relationship is just as important as funds raised. Nick said it best: “They make me feel like a rock star!”

Through Dance Marathon, $700,000 of your funding provided programs that support critically ill children and the unique needs they have while in our care. Funds bolstered our Child Life program where experts work to make a hospital stay a little less scary. They provided food vouchers for under-privileged families — often the only guaranteed healthy meal a family will have. These programs and services at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital help kids like Nick feel more comfortable and happy.

Read Nick’s story here.

Immediate Needs

We work hard to provide our pediatric patients with the most innovative technology in the most welcoming and child friendly environments possible. You contributed to more than $2.6 million to make that happen last year, including the UF Health Shands Children’s Surgical Center that opened earlier this year — a brand new outpatient surgery suite designed just for kids. From equipment like pediatric echocardiography machines, surgical scopes and chemotherapy infusion chairs to renovations like the expanded neonatal intensive care unit, donors like you made a significant difference in our life-saving work.

Read about the NICU here.


Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals funnels half of all funds raised to the UF College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics researchers to provide hope and cures for our patients. You were part of the more than $2.4 million awarded to research faculty — seed money that helps grow an idea from concept to application for researchers studying pediatric cancer, glycogen storage disease, diabetes, autism, infant development, immunology and more.

Coleman“As a new investigator, funding generated by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has been invaluable in allowing me to assemble a strong research team and explore new questions in the area of pediatric brain research. From work directly funded by Dance Marathon, we are now learning that even brief periods of neural insult or injury early in life can have subtle, dynamic effects on brain wiring that last into adult life, which likely impair processes like learning and memory. The hope is that this research will help identify specific brain processes to target for novel therapies designed to ameliorate or reverse the consequences of pediatric brain injury.”

Jason E. Coleman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
UF College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics


Special thanks to our Dance Marathon Partner Programs:DM Impact Report logos composite_web