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Golisano presents $6 million gift to the Central New York Children's Hospital

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - SUNY Upstate Medical University announced today that it will receive a $6 million gift for the Central New York Children's Hospital at University Hospital from B. Thomas Golisano, philanthropist and founder and chairman of Paychex Inc.

The gift is the largest ever from an individual donor in SUNY Upstate history.

The SUNY Upstate Council has requested to the SUNY Board of Trustees that in recognition of the gift, the children's hospital be named the Golisano Children's Hospital of Central New York at University Hospital. The SUNY Board of Trustees will review the request at its Nov. 9 meeting.

"This is a significant day for SUNY Upstate and all of Central New York," said SUNY Upstate President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D. "This generous gift from Thomas Golisano continues his longstanding commitment and support of children's health issues. On behalf of SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Central New York community, I extend a heartfelt thanks to Tom Golisano for his extraordinary gift that will provide the Central New York community with one of the finest medical facilities for our children."

Golisano, of Pittsford, N.Y., is the founder and chairman of Rochester-based Paychex Inc., a leading national provider of payroll and human resource services for small- to medium-sized businesses. He is also owner of the Buffalo Sabres, a National Hockey League team. A graduate of the State University of New York at Alfred, Golisano was named the 2004 Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

"The inspirational work on the part of medical providers, especially those caring for the smallest and most fragile among us is extremely moving," said Golisano. "With this gift, I salute your care and compassionate work. It is a pleasure to support a project such as this that will benefit the parents and children of Central New York."

Golisano's beneficence toward children and medical facilities is well known. Over the past two decades, Golisano has contributed $80 million to various institutions, including Strong Memorial Hospital to create the Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong; Rochester General Hospital; Thompson Health in Canandaigua, N.Y., for an emergency and diagnostic center; Rochester Institute of Technology for the College of Information Technology; Nazareth and Hartwick colleges for academic complexes; and WXXI Public Broadcasting in Rochester, among others

The $6 million gift from Golisano will bring SUNY Upstate's children's hospital campaign total to more than $20 million, exceeding its $15 million goal. The campaign was launched in the Fall of 2003 and to date has received gifts and pledges from individuals, corporations and foundations from all across Central New York and beyond.

"Tom Golisano's philanthropic spirit is shared by many in Central New York, as is his commitment to enhancing medical care for children," said Mary Ann Shaw, chair of the Central New York Children's Hospital campaign committee. "We are grateful for his support and that of all who have given and will continue to give to the children's hospital."

The Central New York Children's Hospital increases the amount of dedicated space to pediatric medicine at University Hospital from 18,000 square feet to 87,000. It will feature 70 private patient rooms with enough space for a pullout sofa or bed to accommodate parents who want to stay the night in their child's room. There will also be separate family sleep quarters. Nursing stations will be located between each room to put nurses in closer proximity to patients when not providing patient care. A 15-bed pediatric intensive care unit will be included in the children's hospital. Lighting specifications have been redesigned to provide patients with warmer, more natural light to replace the glow of fluorescent fixtures.

The most unique feature of the children's hospital design is what architects call the 'tree house,' which will serve as the entrance to the children's hospital. Patients, families and visitors will enter a ground-level reception area and then proceed to an elevator that will carry them eight stories to the 11th floor, the first floor of the children's hospital. Upon exiting the elevator, patients and families will step out to large area featuring a café, lounges, play areas, a gift shop and ample seating areas for relaxing away from the patient's bedside.

Other design highlights of the children's hospital include: a pediatric meditation space, breast-feeding rooms, family shower area, age appropriate play spaces, family activity rooms, and private conference and consult rooms to accommodate physician and family discussions.

A family resource center will serve as a library or learning center where families can go to get more information on their child's illness and research other issues. The center will also make available to families and patients, videos, DVDs, games and other items, such as light reading materials.

Construction of the children's hospital, which will comprise the top two floors of University Hospital vertical expansion, which includes new patient care floors for cardiovascular, neurosurgery and oncology, is expected to begin in early 2006 and be open in early 2008.