Newswise — Orlando, FL (September 26, 2016) – It is a sad time for everyone at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Medical Center after receiving news of the passing of the legendary Arnold Palmer.

“The feeling of sorrow we are all experiencing today is indescribable as we mourn the loss of Arnold Palmer,” states John Bozard, president of Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation. “He was a legend on the golf course but his greatest legacy is as a champion for the health of children and families. We offer our deepest sympathies to Arnold’s family during this difficult time.”

In the early 1980s, Palmer began building his legacy of care for women and children when he first visited the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Orlando Health Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC). There, he met a group of doctors with a vision for a world-class hospital for women and children in Orlando.

By September 1989, Arnold and Winnie Palmer were on hand to cut the ribbon for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women & Children. Since then, the hospital has become a national leader in children’s healthcare, providing expertise in a number of pediatric specialties.

Palmer always believed “we can do better,” and in May 2006, Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies opened its doors to the community. The new hospital, with 315 beds focused solely on women and babies, quickly rose to the top of the ranks among labor and delivery hospitals and established itself as Florida’s premier neonatal care provider with a NICU that produces the best outcomes for low birth-weight babies. It also formed Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which at 473 beds became the largest facility in the country dedicated to the care of women and children.

Neonatology pioneer Dr. Gregor Alexander, one of the first physicians to meet Arnold and Winnie during those early visits to the NICU at ORMC, remembers him well: “Mr. Palmer was always extraordinarily committed to making sure we were able to provide the best, most advanced care to our patients. He was truly inspirational to us as caregivers and we remain thankful to him for his kindness and generosity.”

David Strong, president and CEO of Orlando Health, says of Arnold Palmer: “Mr. Palmer lived an incredible life and accomplished so much. He was a transformational figure in the history of Orlando, and has touched the lives of so many families through the hospitals he and his late wife, Winnie, started many years ago.”

Through the years, Palmer visited the hospitals many times, always making time to speak with patients, families, and hospital team members. Many of the hospital’s team members have stories of memorable interactions with him. A service will be held in the coming days in the hospital for team members to remember Arnold Palmer.

ARNOLD PALMER HOSPITAL for CHILDREN Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, supported by the Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation, is a 158-bed facility dedicated exclusively to the needs of children. Located in Orlando, Arnold Palmer Hospital provides expertise in pediatric specialties such as cardiac care, craniomaxillofacial surgery, critical care, emergency and trauma care, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, hematology/oncology, hospitalist services, orthopedics, pulmonology and sports medicine. In 2013, the hospital achieved Magnet® designation, the “gold standard” for nursing’s contribution to quality patient care, safety, research, and service excellence. Visit to learn more about all of our specialties.

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