Arnold and Winnie Palmer were first introduced to Orlando Regional Healthcare through an invitation to tour the newly opened neonatal intensive care unit and pediatrics wing of Orlando Regional Medical Center in the mid-1980s. This small unit had a talented, ambitious and dedicated staff, but the meager conditions made an impact on the Palmers. Arnold was said to have commented, “We can do better than this — we should do better than this — for the children of our community.”
Some close friends of the Palmers asked if they would be interested in joining the cause to help make a children's hospital a reality. After much discussion, they agreed to lend Arnold Palmer's name to the facility as well as help raise the money needed to build it.
A Call to Exceptional Care
With the agreement to give the new children’s hospital his name, Arnold insisted on a commitment that “good” would never be “good enough” and set forth a challenge to the hospital: to always strive to be the best.
Winnie also generously gave her time and energy to the cause, hosting groups on special tours of the hospital to engage their support. In addition, she served on the Arnold Palmer Hospital board of directors for more than 10 years and inspired the establishment of the annual Halloween parade for our patients, helping them to forget being in a hospital and to just enjoy being a child for a while.
It’s only fitting that the name of our newest hospital be synonymous with the same commitment to quality and excellence as Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. We wanted it to immediately resonate with everyone who hears it — a name that is forever associated with caring, compassion and distinction. Winnie Palmer displayed these qualities and many more in all that she did. Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies is a natural continuation of a legacy of caring that will continue for generations to come.