The organization has partnered with N.C. Children’s Promise, which benefits critically ill children and their families, and has pledged about $2.5 million over the next five years for a general pediatrics clinic that will be run by the N.C. Children’s Hospital.
The amount given each year will depend on that year’s fundraising total, said spokesman Brendan Leonard. In the 2013-14 academic year, the group raised more than $550,000 — the most in its history.
Leonard said Carolina For the Kids wants to make a bigger impact on the lives of the children and families who are served by the hospital.
“Our mission is to overcome childhood illness for patients served by N.C. Children’s Hospital by providing major medical, surgical, and emotional support,” he said in an email.
He said the hospital is running out of space because of certain specialty clinics, making a separate off-campus clinic necessary.
“Moving the general clinic off campus allows them to expand (speciality clinics), while hopefully making it easier for patients of the general clinic to receive care by not making them have to travel to campus,” he said.
Dr. Wesley Burks, chairman and chief physician of N.C. Children’s Hospital, said he is extremely excited about the clinic.
“All the way around, from the hospital standpoint, it’s an opportunity to have a place to meet the needs of the children of the community,” he said. “From the standpoint of a student-run organization, it’s pretty amazing for me to see the people that are doing this.”
Burks said the primary care clinic that’s already in the hospital will move out to the new location along with its staff.
“It will be called the Carolina For the Kids Clinic,” he said. “It’s a relatively large primary care pediatric clinic, and it will help us take care of some of the children that are needed to be taken care of that really don’t have that opportunity to do that.”
According to a Carolina For the Kids press release, the clinic will be 10,000 square feet, and Carolina For the Kids will not be partial owners.
“One of the things I love about this organization is that we are able to do things like this as we feel the need exists,” Leonard said. “We are student led and student run, so we are constantly changing and evolving.”
Burks said he is impressed with the work that Carolina For the Kids has done thus far.
“I’m ecstatic about this opportunity for our hospital and the children that we take care of and to see the amazing work that the students have done while they are in school — to be organized and raise money like this, it’s pretty amazing to see.”