In 2018, Kids for Kids Foundation decided to bring our mission of helping children and families struggling with medical challenges closer to home by adding St. Mary’s Hospital for Children as one of our beneficiaries.
Serving over 3,000 kids every year – all of them with some form of medical complexity – St. Mary’s is not just a healthcare facility, but a home for many of those they serve. Kids often live there for a few months to several years, including well into adulthood.
“St. Mary’s does really special work for New York City’s sickest kids and we need all of the philanthropic support that we can get to do the state-of-the-art special work that we do here,” shared Dr. Edwin F. Simpser, President and Chief Executive Officer of St. Mary’s.
Starting in 2018, Kids for Kids is committing $500,000 over the next 10 years to St. Mary’s to support the construction of the “Kids for Kids Interactive Zone” which is being built in the new wing.
“For folks like Kids for Kids to step up and support us in the building of our new patient unit – to help more kids than we are helping today – is just so meaningful and important to us,” said Dr. Simpser.
Several members of the Kids for Kids Committee and Junior Committee were able to tour the facility out in Bayside, Queens.
“It’s great to be up here in the midst of construction,” said Board Chair Robert Catalano. “It’s going to be a great space for the children at the hospital and their families to come and relax in a good environment here. It’s nice that we got a tour to see it before it comes to fruition.”
In addition to touring the new expansion, Dr. Simpser took the group throughout the whole facility so they could see how they serve their residents.
Junior Committee member Sofia Biondi was really touched by the attention to detail they give their residents. “They focus on every little thing. If the kids had feeding issues, they can take a video of the people assisting with the children one-on-one. Then they can give it to the parents so they would be able to do it at home.”
And Committee Co-Chair Steven Palladino was impressed with how personable Dr. Simpser was with the residents. “He was incredible – knowing all of the patients names and being so involved. It was very impressive for an executive level person to be so hands on.”
Everyone was also impressed with how the facility didn’t feel like a hospital – they made every effort to make it feel like a home for it’s residents; including specialized treatment rooms so that their own bedrooms were off limits to any type of treatment, creating a safe haven.
And all were excited to be bringing the Kids for Kids mission closer to home, including Junior Committee member Juliana Biondi. “It’s nice that we are branching out. Because it’s local we can come and volunteer more often.”