|An Enduring Legacy: Rep. Young’s Support for Children’s Health and All Children’s Hospital|
Our All Children’s Hospital community mourns the loss of Congressman C.W. Bill Young and extends our heartfelt sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues. Throughout his career, Congressman Young was a great friend to the Hospital, our patients and families, and to the entire Tampa Bay community. He was instrumental in establishing the National Marrow Donor Program to help children and adults with cancer have a chance to find a matching donor and receive lifesaving treatment.
Congressman Young fought for our communities, our veterans, and for children and adults facing a fierce battle with cancer. We are deeply thankful for all of those efforts.
Some of Congressman Young's contributions to the health and welfare of children include:
After learning about the plight of a young patient at All Children’s Hospital, Congressman Young was instrumental in founding the National Marrow Donor Program in 1986 and continued to champion this program throughout his esteemed Congressional career. The NMDP facilitates marrow and blood stem cell transplants by maintaining a national registry to match patients with unrelated marrow donors to treat numerous forms of leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sickle cell disease, Gaucher’s disease, neuroblastoma and Ewing sarcoma. The NMDP has enabled more than 55,000 marrow and cord blood transplants and more than 10 million potential donors have been added to the national registry. More than 600 patients have undergone marrow or cord blood transplants at All Children’s Hospital, with many of those procedures performed thanks to a donor identified by the NMDP.
Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education
Congressman Young provided key support for the creation of the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Program (CHGME) in 1999. This bill supports the training missions of freestanding children’s hospitals across the nation, recognizing their vital role in training future pediatricians. Although these children’s hospitals represent a mere one percent of all U.S. hospitals, they train nearly 30 percent of our nation’s pediatricians, half of all pediatric subspecialists, and the majority of the nation’s pediatric research scientists. The Congressman recognized how important CHGME is to All Children's and our focus on training tomorrow's pediatricians. This funding continues to be critical as we expand our Johns Hopkins residency program.
Facilities at the New All Children’s Hospital
Congressman Young was instrumental in helping to secure grant funding that supported imaging technologies, pediatric research infrastructure, and to strengthen the helipad atop the hospital to support the weight of military helicopters that might be needed to transport patients in the event of a national disaster such as Hurricane Katrina.
With support from Congressman Young, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded All Children’s Hospital a grant to implement the Fit4Allkids Weight Management & Fitness for Families program. Fit4allkids was developed by All Children’s with input and guidance from a community-wide task force that included representatives from the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Pinellas County Health Department (Steps toward a Healthier Pinellas) and the Pinellas County School System, all working together with a multidisciplinary team of All Children’s Hospital professionals. The program helps school-age children, teens and their parents work together in making healthy food choices and adapting exercise and other lifestyle changes to promote health and well-being. Fit4Allkids now offers group classes, physician office-based programs, cooking lessons and other health education in several counties in the Tampa Bay area.
In 1997, in recognition of his many contributions to children’s health care and his many efforts on behalf of All Children’s Hospital, the All Children’s Hospital Foundation honored Congressman Young with the William S. Belcher Award. William S. "Bill" Belcher, All Children's first Hospital Board Chairman was a staunch advocate for the hospital and all children. Each year the Foundation bestows this honor on an individual whose efforts have benefited our patients and their families. This individual must be an advocate for children's health care issues and needs, and a leader who assists in the hospital's growth and influences others to aid our cause.
Congressman Young was a gentleman and statesman who will be missed by all.