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Helton Family Foundation Pledge Achieves Fundraising Goal to Expand the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

RALEIGH, N.C. (January 19, 2012) – The WakeMed Foundation today announces Wm. Charles Helton, MD, and the Helton Family Foundation have pledged a $5 million contribution toward the $20 million Just for Kids Kampaign. This donation is the largest single gift in the Foundation’s history and one of the largest ever made to a hospital in Wake County.

“Dr. Helton is one of the key physicians who helped build WakeMed’s cardiovascular services from its infancy into the robust, leading program it is today. He is a talented surgeon that has touched thousands of hearts and lives and feels it is the duty of physicians to share their good fortunes with the community. We are very grateful for the trust and confidence Dr. Helton has in WakeMed and for his generous financial support,” commented Dr. Bill Atkinson, WakeMed president and CEO.

“WakeMed is the safety net health care provider in our community, and I believe strongly in the mission of the health system and the outstanding work WakeMed is doing for our community. It is a great honor for me and my family to be able to give back in a meaningful way, and we are very pleased to be able to help grow access to children’s services in our community and the region,” explained Dr. Helton.

The $20 million Just for Kids Kampaign provided $8.5 million toward the WakeMed Children’s Hospital - the first and only children’s hospital in Wake County which opened in June 2010. The Children’s Hospital comprises 34,000 square feet of the new patient tower on the WakeMed Raleigh Campus and features 45 beds – an eight-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, a 12-bed Pediatric Observation Unit and a 25-bed Pediatric Inpatient Unit – a Ronald McDonald family room, a teen room, a children’s play room, and additional treatment and support facilities.

The Just for Kids Kampaign is also supporting the expansion and renovation of WakeMed’s Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and other comprehensive pediatric services. The WakeMed Raleigh Campus operates the only Level IV NICU in Wake County offering the highest level of neonatal intensive care to the region’s premature and critically ill newborns. The NICU is in the process of being expanded from 36 to 48 beds. In addition, it will offer enhanced facilities to provide more space for families and staff in the care of newborn babies. The $5 million gift helps complete the $20 million campaign.

Previously, in 2009, Dr. Helton donated $1 million to the WakeMed Foundation to establish an endowment for nursing education. He also committed an additional $500,000 in the form of a challenge grant to encourage others to contribute and increase the endowment to $2 million. The endowment just started paying out this year and offers scholarships for nursing students as well as nurses pursuing continuing education opportunities.

Dr. Helton has been a cardiac surgeon with Carolina Cardiovascular Surgical Associates since 1978. The practice recently joined WakeMed Physician Practices and is now operating as Wake Specialty Physicians – Carolina Cardiovascular Surgical Associates. Dr. Helton has been a WakeMed Foundation Board Member since 2007 and has served on the finance committee for his entire tenure.

About WakeMed Foundation
WakeMed Foundation is the charitable resource for WakeMed Health & Hospitals, supporting the health system in its commitment to providing quality healthcare to all citizens of the community. The WakeMed Foundation is dedicated to building support for WakeMed Health & Hospitals through leadership development, fund raising and educational awareness as the health and hospitals system meets the needs for quality health care programs and services for all citizens of the community. Since its inception in 1994, the WakeMed Foundation’s fundraising efforts have supported a number of programs, services, and growth projects at WakeMed, including the Children’s Hospital, Children’s Emergency Department, Heart Center, Women’s Pavilion & Birthplace – Raleigh & Cary, The Health Park at WakeMed Rehab, Women’s Services at North Healthplex and Cary Hospital, Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Raleigh & Cary, Expansion of Emergency Services, Imaging Services and Mobile Critical Care Services.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The 870-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs. WakeMed’s team of 7,750 employees, 1,000 volunteers and more than 1,000 affiliated physicians serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies to ensure the finest in health care. For more information, visit www.wakemed.org.


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