A $20 million gift from Rochester entrepreneur and philanthropist B. Thomas Golisano has kicked off the Medical Center’s plans to build a new, $134-million Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“A new facility is necessary to keep pace with medical and technological advancements and to meet the modern standards of a children’s hospital,” says Golisano, who founded Paychex Inc., a payroll and human resources service provider, in 1971.
The University’s most generous individual living donor, Golisano has given a total of $34 million to the children’s hospital that bears his name, and the Golisano Foundation has given an additional $1.6 million to the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities to establish the Institute for Innovative Transition.
Golisano Children’s Hospital, which was named in 2002, today occupies the fourth floor of Strong Memorial Hospital, while the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is on the third floor. Limited space requires that many patients share a room—not an ideal arrangement for family involvement, infection control, or privacy. The hospital, the only pediatric hospital in the Finger Lakes region, cares for 74,000 children each year.
With Golisano’s latest donation, the Medical Center plans to create a modern, dedicated children’s hospital. Pending state approval, the University will build a six-story, 200,000-square-foot hospital on Crittenden Boulevard, adjacent to the Strong Memorial Hospital lobby and facing the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center. The new building will be financed through a combination of philanthropy, operating equity, and external debt.
“The new Golisano Children’s Hospital is the ideal setting in which to practice patient- and family-centered care for our youngest patients,” says Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk ’81M (MD/PhD). “This amazing facility will ensure that children will not have to leave our community for care and that families can always remain with their hospitalized children.”
The new hospital will hold a 60-bed neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric imaging, and 56 private pediatric rooms. Those rooms will be a third larger than current private rooms, offering greater comfort for patients, families, and caregivers. The design will also allow patients to be grouped by disease or injury, giving the hospital better opportunities to train nurses and other staff members to become experts in common ailments such as asthma.
In a similar spirit, the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, as well as the Ronald McDonald House-within-the-Hospital, will move to the new facility.
“When I came to Rochester in 2006, we had top-notch faculty and staff with expertise unparalleled in communities our size,” says Nina Schor, Golisano Children’s Hospital pediatrician-in-chief. “What we were missing was the facility to match, and now, thanks to Tom, we’re going to have a hospital built expressly around the needs of our patients and families.”