The Foundation for Growth

In 70 years, Nicklaus Children's has become a renowned children's hospital with many alongside us who are passionate about supporting our future.

History of Our Foundation

When Ambassador David M. Walters lost his 6-year-old granddaughter Shannon Joy to leukemia in 1970 due to lack of medical resources, the Ambassador vowed no child would ever have to leave South Florida to receive world-class healthcare. Together with doctors, nurses, technicians, staff, volunteers and the surrounding community, Ambassador Walters started Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, now Nicklaus Children's Hospital Foundation, to help guide the transformation of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital into a nationally-ranked pediatric institution.

New Nicklaus Name, Same Heart

In 2015, the hospital celebrated its 65th anniversary with a new name, thanks to a generous pledge from golf icon Jack Nicklaus, his wife Barbara, and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation that bears their name. In the years to follow, the health system, the research institute and the hospital foundation all assumed the Nicklaus name.

Jack and Barbara wearing their trademark golden yellow

Read more about Jack & Barbara

History of Nicklaus Children's

Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Nicklaus Children's Hospital is South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with nearly 800 attending physicians and more than 390 pediatric subspecialists. The 307-bed hospital, known as Miami Children's Hospital from 1983 through 2014, is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine, with many programs routinely ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report, since 2008. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession's most prestigious institutional honor.

Today, the Nicklaus Children's Hospital network includes more than a dozen outpatient centers extending from Palm Beach County to southern Miami-Dade County, offering a range of pediatric healthcare services, including urgent care, rehabilitation services and subspecialty physician appointments for children of all ages, including up to age 21.

See Historical Timeline