NASCAR-themed 'Speediatrics' provides vital role By Brett Borden DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 1999) The Betty Jane France Pediatric Center welcomed visitors Saturday in preparation for its opening this week. The NASCAR-themed pediatric unit...
NASCAR-themed 'Speediatrics' provides vital role By Brett Borden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 23, 1999) The Betty Jane France Pediatric Center welcomed visitors Saturday in preparation for its opening this week. The NASCAR-themed pediatric unit -- appropriately dubbed "Speediatrics" -- at the Halifax Medical Center, located about a half-mile from Daytona International Speedway, showed off the colorful paint schemes that adorn its walls, floors and ceilings. Along with countless hours of fund-raising and other labors, Mrs. France loaned her interior design expertise to the project. In addition, she worked with the Halifax Medical Center Foundation to create a special fund for future projects. "The hospital is providing a sound foundation of outstanding care for our children," said Mrs. France, wife of NASCAR President Bill France. "We designed an exciting atmosphere that will help make a hospital stay a positive experience and enhance the healing process." Speediatrics is the product of months of planning in which Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR, the France family and Halifax Medical Center teamed up to provide money for the $1.75-million project. Last October at the speedway, a formal dinner and auction featuring participation by a number of NASCAR Winston Cup drivers raised nearly $500,000 in cash and other donations. The unique wing will feature the area's first pediatric intensive care unit, 36 rooms for patients, a family waiting room, a teen social room, a children's playroom and a parents' lounge. The five-bed pediatric ICU will be open in a few weeks. The project has combined young patients' needs with their love of speed to provide a unique environment. Racing cartoon characters adorn the walls, along with pictures of drivers painted by young Volusia County artists Brittany Adamek, Zack Crane, Todd Holter, Claire Mitchell and Megan Whalen. Art instructor Janice Knestrick proudly showed off her young pupils' drawings of drivers such as Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt. Before the creation of Speediatrics, Halifax had to airlift severely injured children to hospitals in Orlando or Jacksonville. Most of those cases will soon be handled in the pediatric ICU. Halifax cared for more than 24,000 children last year. It had to transfer more than 300 of those young patients to other cities after they were brought to Volusia County's largest hospital. Support efforts continue for the project. Speediatrics project donations of any amount are welcome. Those who contribute $1,000 or more to the foundation for the Speediatrics project will be recognized on a special "Victory Lane" wall on the Speediatrics floor. For more information on the Victory Lane wall or other financial support of the Speediatrics project call Daytona International Speedway Community Relations at (904) 947-6416.
Source: NASCAR Online