A little more than two decades ago, a group of local pediatricians and community leaders recognized the growing need for specialized care for women and children. Their quest was joined by Orlando Health (named Orlando Regional Medical Center at the time) and golf legend Arnold Palmer and his late wife, Winnie Palmer. The group set out to create a world class hospital dedicated to the unique needs of women and children. The result was Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women, which opened on September 10, 1989 (Arnold Palmer’s 60th birthday) and was the only hospital in the Southeast (and one of only six in the nation) dedicated to serving the unique needs of women and children.
Over the years the Central Florida community continued to grow and in 2004, over 11,000 babies were born at Arnold Palmer Hospital, one of the busiest labor & delivery units in the nation. The demand for obstetric, gynecological and children’s services had risen so dramatically that the hospital was continually filled to capacity. Orlando Health recognized the need for an expansion of the Arnold Palmer facility in order to accommodate the needs of women and children in Central Florida.
Ground was broken in 2004 and on May 30, 2006, Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies opened, dedicated exclusively to the needs of women and babies. The new hospital allowed Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children to dedicate itself solely to the care and treatment of children. Arnold Palmer Hospital was renovated to nearly double the capacity for pediatric services, and is the first facility in Central Florida to provide emergency care exclusively for pediatrics.
The two hospitals are part of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center and are joined by a two-story connector that allows the specialized physicians and services to be shared among the babies and children.