The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday August 5th

Carolina For the Kids Foundation clinic won't replace main programs

UNC's annual 24-hour standing and dancing Dance Marathon took place on March 21 and 22. The organization ended up raising 551, 595.87 dollars for the patients and families at UNC's Childrens Hospital, passing the half a million mark for the first time in history. Pictured: Jake Ellis plays with moral and kid co-captain Katie Quine.
Buy Photos UNC's annual 24-hour standing and dancing Dance Marathon took place on March 21 and 22. The organization ended up raising 551, 595.87 dollars for the patients and families at UNC's Childrens Hospital, passing the half a million mark for the first time in history. Pictured: Jake Ellis plays with moral and kid co-captain Katie Quine.

The organization will give about $2.5 million over the next five years to the new clinic project as a part of a partnership with N.C. Children’s Promise, said Executive Director Evan Sherwood. 

The first program the organization will maintain, he said, is the For the Kids Fund — an ongoing grant that takes care of families’ medical costs not covered by Medicaid or private insurance. 

The second program that will continue to receive money is Parents Night Out. Every Tuesday night, Carolina For the Kids provides a hot meal to three floors of the hospital for parents of patients, he said. 

Brendan Leonard, Carolina For the Kids spokesman, said these programs are key during the time of transition. 

“They’re kind of our foundation, and so many people know us for that,” he said. “It’s too important to give up those opportunities.”

Sherwood said the programs that Carolina For the Kids will no longer fund were set up with the intention of the hospital eventually being able to independently support them. 

Leonard said there have been many examples where Carolina For the Kids was able to kick off programs the hospital would not otherwise be able to pay for.

“We funded a bilingual social worker. Because of the money we funded, the hospital realized how important it was. Our contract was a year or two, so there was a timeline for that, and now the hospital picked it up,” he said.

Sherwood said the opportunity came at the perfect time for the organization since some of its grants were ending.

Dr. Wesley Burks, chairman of UNC’s department of pediatrics and chief physician of N.C. Children’s Hospital, said the clinic will increase the number of patients the hospital can care for. 

He said since the clinic will be off campus, the ability to park will give families easier access for visits.

Once the new clinic is built, the current general pediatrics clinic, which is in the bottom of the hospital, will be used for specialty care, he said.

“For kids that have special needs that require lots of tests and radiographic procedures, we’ll be able to expand on care for those children,” he said.

Burks said he is confident the hospital will provide the same quality of service despite the normal donation going toward a new clinic. He said the hospital is continually looking for additional philanthropic support.

“I think (the clinic) is just a bonus in what they’ve been able to help us do,” he said.

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