$5 Million Gift Expands Pediatric Neurological Care in Central Florida

Orlando, FL (October 17, 2018) – An Orlando woman with a long history of philanthropy is helping expand care for children with neurological conditions in Central Florida. At her 87th birthday celebration, Helen Leon, agreed to give $5 million to the newly created neuroscience center at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

Ms. Leon’s gift will be used to facilitate and formalize initiatives that support the center, which will now officially be known as the Leon Pediatric Neuroscience Center of Excellence. The vision for the center includes providing comprehensive, coordinated care for a broad range of neurological disorders (such as spina bifida and epilepsy) and developing innovative treatment options through expanded research opportunities.

“My late husband, Eddie and I were very involved in supporting advancements in children’s healthcare for many years together,” said Ms. Leon. “Children are innocent, and deserving of our investment of time, love and resources.”

“We’re extremely grateful to Ms. Leon for her generous gift to help grow the high-level of neurological care at our hospital,” said John Bozard, president of the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. “She has been a long-standing supporter and volunteer at Arnold Palmer Hospital and her kindness and generosity has and will continue to impact many young lives.”

In August, Orlando Health announced its new fetal surgery program to repair spina bifida, which is supported by the neuroscience center. As the first hospital system in the state of Florida to offer this kind of in-utero surgery, Orlando Health is prepared to become a destination medical facility in the southeast.

“Ms. Leon’s seminal gift arrives at a very exciting time for us,” said Samer Elbabaa, MD, medical director of pediatric neurosurgery and director of the Leon Pediatric Neuroscience Center of Excellence at Arnold Palmer Hospital. “Her extremely important philanthropic support will help us become the region’s largest comprehensive pediatric neuroscience program with unparalleled physician and allied health expertise for the treatment of all children, newborns and fetuses with neurological conditions."


Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children is a 158-bed facility dedicated exclusively to the needs of children. Located in Orlando, Arnold Palmer Hospital provides expertise in pediatric specialties such as cardiac care, craniomaxillofacial surgery, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, orthopedics, pulmonology and sports medicine. The Bert Martin’s Champions for Children Emergency Department & Trauma Center at Arnold Palmer Hospital is part of the only Level One Trauma Center in the area, and is the first facility in Central Florida to provide emergency care exclusively for pediatric patients. Visit to learn more about all of our specialties.

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