Lee Health Foundation has awarded the Frank Haskell Humanitarian Award to Susan Goldy and Scott Spiezle for their passion, personal commitment and generosity in the advancement of children’s mental health care. Through their leadership behind Kids’ Minds Matter, the pediatric behavioral health initiative of Golisano Children’s Hospital, Goldy and Spiezle have dedicated themselves to bringing high-quality, comprehensive behavioral and mental health services to Southwest Florida, ensuring children have the right care at the right place and time.
By developing clinical pathways to screen and treat patients, enhancing public awareness through education, and lobbying for systemic change and sustainable funding, Kids’ Minds Matter aims to align mental health providers, local agencies, the judicial system, law enforcement, schools and faith-based organizations. Since 2016, with the support of thousands of donors and mental health advocates, Kids’ Minds Matter has grown to a multidimensional program, enabling Golisano Children’s Hospital to increase its providers by over 500%, open three new clinics in this fiscal year, as well as a testing center in Bonita Springs, grow the number of patient visits from 7,000 to over 24,000 in the past year, and reduce the wait times for an appointment from 12 months to just 2 months.
“Throughout the past seven years, there have been many critical investors in helping children through Kids’ Minds Matter, and we are grateful to all of them,” said Pason Gaddis, chairman of Lee Health Foundation Board of Trustees. “However, it has been the passion, dedication, personal commitment and generosity of the original founders who have continued to relentlessly push forward until all children in Southwest Florida have the resources they need to pursue happy, healthy lives and contribute to our society.”
The Frank Haskell Humanitarian Award recognizes outstanding leadership in the advancement of quality health care for the citizens of Southwest Florida. The award is named in honor of Frank Haskell, co-founder, with his wife Betty, of Barbara’s Friends – Golisano Children’s Hospital Cancer Fund, which was named in memory of their daughter Barbara after cancer claimed her life when she was far too young. For the past 27 years, Frank has worked tirelessly to help local children win their battles with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders. Previous recipients of the award include: Steve Machiz, Al Kinkle, Joe Catti, Jim Nathan, Amanda Cross.
The prestigious award was presented at Lee Health Foundation’s annual Evening of Appreciation, held April 20 at The Forest Country Club. The formal event thanked an estimated 300 donors and supporters in attendance for their generosity and unwavering commitment to enhancing health care services within the Lee Health network. Also at the event, Chief Development, Marketing and Communication Officer for Lee Health, Chris Simoneau, shared insights into Lee Health’s plans for the next 5-7 years to continue to serve the Southwest Florida community, including improving access to care, addressing the social determinants of health, and delivering the right care, at the right place and time, and at the right costs. Some of the plans shared include a new Lee Health Fort Myers hospital which will serve as a center of excellence in orthopedics. Extensive expansion plans for Cape Coral were shared including a new residency program, expansion of Cape Coral Hospital and the Surfside location, a new facility for Northwest Cape Coral, and developing a novel public-private partnership in Bimini Basin. Plans also include growing programs and services for cancer care and children’s health care; the investment in recruiting the nation’s best physicians, advanced and primary care providers and specialists; as well as community partnerships including Cleveland Clinic for a heart and vascular program and with local colleges and universities to develop programs that are relevant to the region.
Seventeen-year-old Summer Kates provided cookies courtesy of Summer’s Cookies, her nonprofit benefiting the Child Life program at Golisano Children’s Hospital. Sponsors of the evening included Coding Services Group, Skanska, and flowers from Children’s Miracle Network partner Costco.