Tom Golisano Makes $20 Million Challenge Grant to Children's Hospital

Donation Supports New Dedicated State-of-the-Art Children's Hospital to be Renamed Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida

FORT MYERS, Fla., Oct. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- B. Thomas Golisano was revealed today as the donor of a $20 million matching gift to build a new children's hospital, which will be named Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida. Golisano has challenged the community to raise $20 million, which he will match dollar for dollar for each contribution.

Golisano is the founder and Chairman of Paychex, Inc., a leader in the payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing industry. The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System and is currently located inside another hospital, HealthPark Medical Center.

"I have deep admiration for the heroic work of the physicians and clinical staff of The Children's Hospital, who every day provide skilled and passionate care, and are saving the lives of sick and injured children in Southwest Florida," says Golisano. "This gift comes as my personal commitment to help Lee Memorial Health System build a hospital where all children in Southwest Florida will receive the best possible care close to home. I hope this gift helps leverage support from others in the region and motivates everyone to contribute in a meaningful way to this important endeavor."

On August 3, The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida announced that an anonymous donor pledged to match up to $20 million in donations made through May 2014. When fulfilled, Golisano's matching gift of $20 million will be the single largest philanthropic gift in The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida's history.

The capital campaign supports construction of a new state-of-the art, 128-bed (with expansion capabilities to 160 beds) comprehensive pediatric health care facility on the grounds of HealthPark Medical Center in South Fort Myers. The building will consolidate into one location the medical and ancillary specialty services required to treat critically ill or injured children in a five-county region. The new facility is expected to open in 2016.

"The Children's Hospital, and particularly the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), is often at capacity," says Jim Nathan, President of Lee Memorial Health System. "Our focus is to care for children as close to home as possible. We are extremely grateful for Mr. Golisano's generosity and trust in our vision and talented caring team. We hope the tremendous generosity of this challenge grant inspires the community to a deeper commitment in helping build America's newest children's hospital."

Golisano is a noted philanthropist. His generous gifts have included the Golisano Children's Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY; Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, NY; and, locally, the Golisano Children's Museum of Naples (C'MON) and Tom Golisano Field House at Ave Maria University. He is also the founding sponsor and major underwriter for eight consecutive years of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, which convenes global leaders to work on the world's most pressing challenges in education, poverty, health and the environment. At the 2012 meeting in September, Golisano announced a major gift to Special Olympics to launch Healthy Communities, which will address health disparities for people with intellectual disabilities. The program will be launched in eight countries and six states in the U.S. including Florida.

The Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is the only comprehensive children's hospital between St. Petersburg and Miami. It provides life-saving health care and treatment to children from Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties.

Visit or call 239-343-6950 for more information about the role of philanthropy at Lee Memorial Health System.

SOURCE Lee Memorial Health System