“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.