An outstanding baseball career complete with nine world championships, 10 pennants, a plethora of awards and a Baseball Hall of Fame induction make the name Joe DiMaggio synonymous with success and excellence, yet there was another part of his life that brought incredible meaning to him in his later years. A children’s hospital at Memorial Regional in Hollywood, Florida renamed their facility the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in 1992.
According to DiMaggio’s friend, Author Morris Engelberg, Joe said that having his name on the pediatric hospital meant more to him than being elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame. He realized his influence could do more for the hospital than the $100,000 to $125,000 per year it had raised during its peak years, and he gave his name and fundraising efforts to support the facility, making clear the one caveat to all of his support: No child will ever be turned away because of inability to pay.
Joe’s support and commitment have helped to attract some of the world’s finest pediatric physicians to the hospital, and the funds have ensured the complex medical needs of all children could be met.
The baseball icon was known to make frequent visits to the hospital, where he was seen bringing gifts and chatting with young patients, or even cradling newborns.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital: A Legacy of Hope and Healing for Children
Joe’s presence and support were transformational to the hospital. Although he is now gone, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital serves children and families today as a world-class hospital, earning the distinction of being the leading children’s hospital in Broward and Palm Beach counties. This premier facility combines advanced technology and the expertise of the largest diversity of board-certified specialists in the region—all in a caring, compassionate setting designed specifically for children.
Uniquely qualified to treat some of the most complex and critical medical conditions, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital is the only children’s hospital in Broward and Palm Beach counties performing cardiac catheterization and open heart surgery, and one of only a few hospitals in the nation performing minimally invasive, endoscopic surgery for cranial abnormalities.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital embraces patient- and family-centered care, and recognizes the important role family plays in a child’s recovery. The Conine Clubhouse provides a home away from home where families of hospitalized children can stay free of charge, based upon availability.
Construction is underway on the new, four-story, 160,000-square-foot Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital – the first of its kind in Broward County. Features include all private rooms, operating rooms, medical/surgical and oncology units, ambulatory services, a conference center and much more. As we prepare to open this leading-edge facility in the summer of 2011, we are creating jobs today, investing in our community and building a healthy future.
Book: DiMaggio: Setting the Record Straight, Morris Engelberg & Marv Schneider