Stories from the Heart: Overseer of Care for the Kids
INSPIRING STORIES OF PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE
The life-changing care Ascension Sacred Heart provides has touched the hearts of many who strive to ensure that this incredible mission of care continues for future generations. Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation is proud to be a partner in this endeavor. Please enjoy these “Stories from the Heart.”
Will Condon serves as President of the new Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart as he continues his successful journey of working for Ascension Sacred Heart. That career began some 10 years ago when he was hired as a Marketing Outreach Coordinator. During his tenure at Ascension Sacred Heart, he earned his master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from University of West Florida. He also progressed in responsibility, becoming the Chief Marketing Officer of Ascension Florida. Now his mission is concentrated on the kids. “But I would not be here without the help of great mentors along the way,” Will says, crediting Dick Appleyard, Susan Davis and Henry Stovall.
When the new Children’s Hospital opened on May 4, 2019, Will was most proud of how his team accomplished the move from their prior location. The transfer took place after prolonged planning, and Will was gratified to see every detail go seamlessly, saying, “I tell people all the time that I am a very small part of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. But I am so fortunate and so blessed every day to be a part of that team because I know how much they care for the kids.”
He is also grateful to the more than 12,000 individuals, corporations and foundations that donated to the construction of the Studer Family Children’s Hospital. “These generous partners allow us to provide the best care, facilities and programs close to home for every child regardless of their families’ ability to pay,” Will says, “for that, I am eternally grateful.”
He points out what the new facility means for the community, indeed the region: Families now don’t have to travel to access quality pediatric healthcare. “Usually to find a hospital like ours, you would have to go to Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville. A chronically ill kid that needs to be in a children’s hospital bed often means you have to break the family apart.” That’s no longer the case with the services offered at the Children’s Hospital.
Yet, while the doors are open for care, it doesn’t mean the work is done. Two pediatric areas are slated for growth: The Bear Family Foundation Pediatric Oncology Center for Hope and the operating room (OR) suites. (That OR is the only one in the entire region dedicated solely to kids.) The number of children treated in the hospital stays high, with the children’s emergency room serving 100 kids a day.
“A big thing we’re focused on moving forward is outreach.” Will shares. Families in Destin, Panama City and Fairhope can’t always manage to travel to the Children’s Hospital for care. “How can we bring our pediatric sub-specialist physicians into their communities and provide that high level of care where they live?”
Will attributes his drive to his parents, both of whom were accomplished athletes. (His mother was the world’s best breaststroke swimmer in 1968, winning an Olympic gold medal.) He and wife Jamie, a pediatric clinical dietitian at Ascension Sacred Heart, were blessed with a baby girl, Adler, a little over a year ago.
About the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation
Since 1915, Ascension Sacred Heart has been at the heart of healing for Northwest Florida and South Alabama. Like our founders, the Daughters of Charity, Ascension Sacred Heart is dedicated to providing quality, compassionate healthcare to the citizens of our regions, regardless of their ability to pay. This steadfast commitment to our community could not have been achieved without the support and generosity of the thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations that have donated to Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation. Through this charitable giving, Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation has been able to provide millions of dollars of free and low-cost healthcare to the poor, uninsured, under-insured and low-income families. With the help of generous donors, we are proud to partner in Ascension Sacred Heart’s mission of care along the Gulf Coast.