St. Petersburg to All Children's president: We love, love, love you
ST. PETERSBURG -- Dr. Jonathan Ellen, president of All Children’s Hospital, stopped by Thursday’s City Council meeting for what was, more or less, a lesson on the organization’s history followed by a parade of thank yous from city officials.
Some tidbits from Ellen’s presentation:
- 46 percent of All Children’s 3,000 employees live in St. Petersburg.
- The hospital estimates its “value-added impact” to the community totals $542.6 million.
- Of its 258 beds, an average of 200 are filled each day; they often reach capacity during flu season.
- The hospital has completed about 600 bone marrow transplants in the last 15 years.
Last month, the City Council voted to swap properties with All Children's, allowing the organization to build a downtown medical tower and create at least 200 more jobs.
The land All Children’s will receive is under lease through 2022 to the YWCA. Hospital representatives have been negotiating with the Y, but Ellen didn’t address their progress – and council members didn’t ask about it.
Instead, they used Thursday’s meeting to illustrate, repeatedly, how supportive they are of the hospital’s efforts.
Chairman Karl Nurse implored Ellen to ask the council for anything All Children’s needed.
“Whatever the question is,” he said, “the answer is yes.”
Council members Wengay Newton and Jim Kennedy echoed Nurse's thoughts and then Bill Dudley also chimed in.
Like Nurse, he told Ellen to come to them with any question. Dudley said the people of St. Petersburg were “blessed” to have All Children’s in the community.
“I was a coach,” he said, “and now I’m a cheerleader”
Kennedy quickly interrupted.
“No outfits, please.”