The Legacy of a Legend
Arnold and Winnie Palmer were first introduced to Orlando Health through an invitation to tour the newly opened neonatal intensive care unit and pediatrics wing of Orlando Regional Medical Center in the mid-1980s. This small unit had a talented, ambitious and dedicated staff, but the facilities’ meager conditions made an impact on the Palmers. Arnold was said to have commented, “We can do better than this — we should do better than this — for the children of our community.”
About this same time, a group of pediatricians were working together to garner support for a children's hospital to be built in the Orlando area. Up until that time, children requiring specialized healthcare had to travel to Gainesville, Tampa, Jacksonville, or even as far as Miami to receive the necessary treatment.
Some close friends of the Palmers asked if they would be interested in joining the cause to help make a children's hospital a reality. After much discussion, they agreed to lend Arnold Palmer's name to the facility and help raise the money needed to build it.
A Call to Exceptional Care
Arnold set forth a challenge to the hospital: to always strive to be the best. With the agreement to give the hospital his name, he insisted on a commitment that “good” would never be “good enough.” This is why, in everything that we do, we strive to take care to new heights — because your children and family deserve the best.
When you hear Arnold talk about the hospital today, you can see what makes him so proud. He said recently, “This hospital isn’t just going to be the best hospital in Orlando, or even the best in Florida. It’s going to be one of the best in the world.” We have taken that on as our marching orders — to do our part to make this one of the best hospitals in the world.
If you ask Arnold, he will tell you that as much as he loves his 92 national and international championships, U.S. Amateur Championship, four Masters Championships, two British Opens, a U.S. Open Championship, and being named the “Athlete of a Decade” — none of it compares to being a part of saving the life of a child. This is a legacy of caring.