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Nicklaus Children’s Hospital: An Enduring Story of Hope and Healing

Nicklaus Children's Hospital: An Enduring Story of Hope and Healing

This is the story of a small specialty hospital that grew and grew to become a nationally ranked pediatric hospital and South Florida’s only healthcare system exclusively for children. Our story is peopled with heroes, including brave children and their families, dedicated doctors and caregivers, and philanthropists devoted to funding the future of children’s healthcare.

And without question, our story’s theme is hope. Nicklaus Children’s clinicians and support teams strive daily to fulfill our mission to inspire hope and promote lifelong health for children and their families. This singular focus defines Nicklaus Children’s as the hospital where your child matters most.

A New Nicklaus Name and a Brighter Future

While the Nicklaus Children’s story begins in 1950 with the hospital’s founding as Variety Children’s Hospital, the narrative surged in 2015 when golf icon Jack Nicklaus and his wife Barbara made a transformational donation. That decision changed the future of pediatric healthcare, forever, across South Florida and beyond.

Today, Nicklaus Children’s is a top-ranked children’s hospital in Florida, with a 309-bed campus featuring state-of-the art equipment and amenities. It’s the place families of the region and beyond trust and turn to when a child needs specialized care or confronts a critical illness.

Each year, the hospital hosts more than 16,000 admissions, 438,000 outpatient visits, 830,000 physician visits, and 15,000 surgical procedures to meet the needs of patient families who come to us from throughout Florida and around the world.

A Special Place for Kids: Like No Other!

Placing children at the center of every healthcare decision and ensuring that Nicklaus Children’s is the place where children matter most, Nicklaus Children’s is a rarity in today’s healthcare landscape. An independent, nonprofit children’s hospital with extraordinary depth of expertise in virtually every pediatric subspecialty – from adolescent medicine to urology and every specialty in between – Nicklaus Children’s offers its leading-edge care in a family-friendly environment that puts the needs of children first.

A standout feature of the hospital is our four healthcare institutes, each representing the pinnacle of pediatric expertise. The institutes draw children and families from throughout the world in search of the latest treatments.

Institutes Lead the Way

At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, care is more than offering healthcare services, it’s about personalized treatment delivered by world-renowned, top-notch clinical institutes to address the depth and breadth of the greatest needs of children all across the region and globe.

Nicklaus Children’s Brain Institute: The first of its kind in the nation, the institute offers comprehensive medical care for the developing brain. Many of its multidisciplinary programs represent the most advanced care offerings available anywhere in the world. Focuses run the gamut, including a comprehensive epilepsy program for children with medically resistant seizures, a neuro-oncology program, craniofacial center, spasticity and movement disorders center and many more. The Nicklaus Children’s Brain Institute is one of only a few centers in the world using MRI-focused ultrasound to treat seizure-causing brain lesions.

Cancer and Blood Disorders Institute: This institute is the largest provider in the region for children with cancer and hematologic disorders. The program is renowned for offering the latest treatments for the full range of pediatric cancers and blood disorders and is engaged currently in more than 70 clinical research studies focused on new cures, treatments, and diagnostic procedures to manage pediatric malignancies. The program’s blood and marrow transplant program features some of the best outcomes in the nation.

Nicklaus Children’s Heart Institute: The Heart Institute is one of the region’s most comprehensive and innovative programs dedicated to children and adults with congenital heart disease. The team is renowned for embracing emerging technologies to offer the best possible surgical and minimally invasive interventions and offers a continuum that extends from fetal diagnosis to birth, and care management from infancy, through childhood and adulthood.

Nicklaus Children’s Orthopedic, Sports Medicine and Spine Institute: This is one of the region’s largest and most innovative programs for pediatric orthopedic care. Areas of special focus include general orthopedics, sports medicine, scoliosis, hip and limb deformities, cerebral palsy, neuromuscular conditions, musculoskeletal oncology, and more.

Growing, Like the Children We Serve

Much like the vision that inspired Jack and Barbara Nicklaus to transform care in South Florida, Nicklaus Children’s is devoted to bringing care closer to home for children throughout the region, with outpatient services and specialty physician appointments available in a steadily growing list of primary and specialty care centers. Convenience is important to today’s busy families and Nicklaus Children’s is leading the way in bringing more pediatric services closer to home. Currently we feature more than 20 outpatient and physician consultative offices throughout South Florida.

Forward for Generations

What’s next for Florida’s pediatric care leader? In 2022, the hospital broke ground on a new surgical tower set for completion in 2024. This new 127,000-square-foot facility will be transformative, offering expanded surgical suites to accommodate the latest equipment and multidisciplinary surgical teams required for complex cases. The new tower will also offer spacious and private pre- and post-surgical spaces to make children and families more at home.

In honor of a generous gift from Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin, the tower will be named the Kenneth C. Griffin Surgical Tower. A major campaign to complete funding for the tower gets underway this year.

For more information about how you can support Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and its enduring mission, please visit

Stories of Hope and Healing

Meet Ezra: He’s not Missing a Beat
Before Ezra was born, his mother learned her baby to be would have a serious heart complication at birth. Soon after his arrival, Ezra was whisked to Nicklaus Children’s via LifeFlight Critical Care Transport for life-saving care. Today, after several surgeries, Ezra is thriving.

Meet Ja’Leah: Player of the Year
In her junior year of high school, basketball star Ja’Leah learned she would need surgery to correct an advancing curvature of her spine. After spinal surgery and a several-months-long recovery, Ja’Leah was back on the courts and nothing could stop her. Today, she is a star on her college basketball team.

Meet Bruna: She’s Really Going Places
At 3 months of age, Bruna was diagnosed with a rapidly growing brain tumor, called a ganglioglioma. Her parents traveled from their home in Bolivia to Nicklaus Children’s so their precious baby could take part in a clinical trial for children with this rare type of tumor. Today, Bruna’s cancer is in remission.