Oct. 19, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Participants at an annual walk-a-thon Sunday raised more than $100,000 for a Bayside hospital to support children with special medical needs.
Hundreds joined the annual Big Hearts Walk for St. Mary’s Kids at the Bronx Zoo to raise funds for St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, the city’s only post-acute pediatric care facility. The funds will be used by the hospital to pay for programs and treatment for its patients.
The annual walk has become an essential fundraiser to help St. Mary’s continue to provide high-quality care to every child who needs it — regardless of their family’s ability to pay for treatment.
According to the hospital, more than 90 percent of its patients need a level of care that exceeds what their families can afford and what Medicaid is able to cover.
The walk was also an opportunity for families of children with medical needs to have some fun, the hospital’s president and CEO Dr. Edwin Simpser said. Following the walk, participants were able to enjoy full-day access to the Bronx Zoo’s annual “Boo at the Zoo” Halloween extravaganza.
“The pandemic has been particularly traumatic for families with medically fragile children, so we’re thrilled to finally be at the point where many of us can come together for this fun, outdoor event,” Simpser said. “The proceeds from the walk will help ensure we can continue to provide the highest level of care to our patients and we’re incredibly grateful for the community support we’ve received.”