In late December, the newly renovated Pediatric Infusion Center and Specialties Clinic began welcoming patients on the fourth floor of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. The updated unit features a larger waiting room, 16 large and more private infusion chairs each with a TV and gaming station, a waiting area for compromised patients, a nourishment area, more spaces for nurses and many other features designed to enhance the patient, family and staff experience.

“It’s going to be nice to have all of our patients on one floor and all together again,” said William Clayton, M.D., UF College of Medicine chief of pediatric hematology and oncology at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.

There are two sets of adjoining rooms in the clinic where patients and their families can interact and spend time with each other during treatment.

“It’s a big step up for us to have an infusion room where we have spaces that are separated by walls and patients will have more privacy in the center,” Slayton said.

In addition to comfort, the renovations improve quality and safety. He explained, “There will be better infection control because of the fact that spaces are separated by solid walls.”

Former UF punter Johnny Townsend, who is now with the Oakland Raiders, created the Johnny Townsend Foundation to help fund the unit’s makeover. His parents, Clay and Susan Townsend, drove from Orlando to see the renovation.

“Fantastic. I know Johnny is excited about it,” Clay Townsend said. “He wishes he could have been here, but the Raiders are playing. He’s just very proud of it.”

“We’re very happy that he has found something that he feels passionate about and wants to continue helping,” Susan Townsend said.