The facility, temporarily located on East Franklin Street near the Estes Drive intersection, opened Monday, July 13.
“We really wanted to do something that would be a little more permanent,” said Meagan Barger, current executive director for CFTK.
“We were talking about different ways we could contribute, and the hospital really needed space to expand.”
Mike Steiner, UNC’s chief of general pediatrics, said the new facility will be easier for families to access and will allow for expansion of the hospital’s pediatric subspecialty clinics.
The two-year-old project stemmed from former CFTK executive director Liz Goslin’s conversations with hospital employees.
Steiner said one of the biggest concerns was how backed up the hospital’s primary care unit was.
“About 20 other clinics share that space where the primary care clinic was,” he said.
“The primary care clinic was using about a third of the space, so now there will be quite a bit more space for the subspecialty clinics.”
Steiner said he worked with CFTK’s leadership team to research patient needs. The new clinic is on bus lines and allows for free and convenient parking.
“It will be a lot more like a private practice, but we will continue to have the expertise of the children’s hospital,” he said.
The project is scheduled to take five years, and Haley Waxman, CFTK publicity chairwoman, said CFTK will donate a total of $2.5 million.
“The goal is to completely pay for the building of the clinic,” Barger said. “We are getting some help along the way. We are working with N.C. Children’s Promise.”
The temporary location is CFTK’s first step of the project, and Steiner said the space will be a good opportunity to learn what should be incorporated into the final space.
Barger said the permanent location for the clinic has not yet been decided.
Waxman said CFTK wants to show the organization is more than just Dance Marathon.
“We are an organization that is in the hospital on the ground,” she said.
Waxman said CFTK has up to 30 fundraising events.
“Our biggest fundraiser obviously is UNC Dance Marathon,” Barger said. “We also have our Kilometers for the Kids, and that’s the 5K/10K and Fun Run that’s been really successful every year. We also have our annual benefit every year.”
A tangible goal like the clinic makes CFTK a rewarding organization, Waxman said.
“It’s an organization where the work you do and the money you donate — you can really see firsthand the work it does for people,” she said.
“We have parents telling us it’s a bright spot in their day or one less thing they have to worry about. That’s something that I can’t compare to anything else.”