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Inaugural Joe DiMaggio American Icon Award Presented to President Bill Clinton

HOLLYWOOD, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 02/10/14 -- President Bill Clinton was honored on January 24, 2014 with the first ever Joe DiMaggio American Icon Award presented by the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in recognition of the 100th Anniversary of Joe DiMaggio's birth.

"Hillary and I both had the honor of meeting Joe before he passed away," said President Clinton, founder of the Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States, as he accepted the award and addressed approximately 1,000 guests. "I believe in the mission of this hospital, and am grateful that people who have had some success in their lives are willing to share with those who are less fortunate. I am honored to be here tonight. I thank you, and ask you to keep giving."

Lesley Visser, CBS reporter for more than 25 years, emceed the inspiring event held at the Don Taft University Center at Nova Southeastern University. Oscar-winning actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker introduced the President, with the award presented by John Carlyle, CEO of Sheridan Healthcare.

This was not the President's first visit to South Florida for the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. He is a longtime supporter, having attended the well-known Annual Joe DiMaggio Legends Game where major league players and celebrities raised money for children and families at the Hospital.

"Tonight was the first of what we hope will become an honored tradition," said Kevin Janser, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Foundation. "Joe DiMaggio and President Clinton share a bond in their dedication to making a difference in the lives of children. It was an honor to present the Joe DiMaggio American Icon Award to President Bill Clinton."

The event was attended by numerous sports celebrities including major league super stars Jeff Conine, Andre Dawson, Jim Palmer, Orlando Cepeda, NBA great Dikembe Mutombo, and many friends and supporters of the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital.

Also in attendance were Joe DiMaggio's granddaughters Kathie Stein and Paula Hamra.

Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital was established in 1992 and combines advanced technology and the expertise of the largest, most diverse group of board-certified pediatric specialists in the region. Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital has 204 beds and is South Florida's newest freestanding children's hospital. The hospital is staffed 24 hours a day by world-class pediatricians, pediatric specialists, specialty-trained nurses and ancillary support staff. More than 650 physicians are on the medical staff, and during the 2012 calendar year our team recorded:

  • 8,689 admissions
  • 5,919 surgeries
  • 63,429 Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital pediatric emergency department visits
  • 108,621 Memorial Healthcare System pediatric emergency department visits

Uniquely inspired by and designed for kids and families, the freestanding building offers many amenities. The vibrant colors, whimsical décor and larger-than-life murals welcome children to an upbeat environment where the "Power of Play" is a healing force. Each floor reflects an individual theme of sports, arts, games or dreams. All patient rooms are private and are wired for movies, video games, the Internet and educational programs, and room-service meals are available any time of the day.

This four-story, 180,000-square-foot, environmentally friendly facility features six pediatric operating rooms, dedicated medical/surgical units, family resource centers, ambulatory services, imaging services that feature a CT scanner disguised as a pirate ship, and an entire floor dedicated to inpatient and outpatient pediatric oncology treatment. The team at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital embraces a patient- and family-centered approach to care, working with families in the effort to best meet the needs of the child.

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