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2003 Press Releases
Donors Help Health Care Workers Find Day Care Alternative

CLEARWATER, Fla. (September 10, 2003)-Through the generosity of Mary Ann and Bernard F. Powell, team members at Morton Plant, Mease Dunedin, Mease Countryside and Morton Plant North Bay hospitals will have more choices when seeking child care. The Mary Ann and Bernard F. Powell Child Care and Learning Center is under construction and will offer child care and pre-school education primarily to children of all Morton Plant Mease Health Care nursing staff and employees.

"Finding child care is a critical issue to our team members, particularly the nursing staff," said Marcia Albanese, director of Women's Services, Morton Plant Hospital. "We believe that we'll be able to attract more nursing staff by offering employees an alternative to child care that emphasizes excellence and low teacher-student ratios." Albanese explained that it is particularly difficult to find care for infants. "We find that many health care workers will actually put off returning to work, because of the lack of resources for infant care," she stated. The Mary Ann and Bernard F. Powell Child Care and Learning Center will care for twice the number of infants as compared to other day care centers in the area.

"Nurses spend so much time helping others, and we are so pleased to be able to help them by providing a place where infants and children can learn and grow to their fullest potential," said Bernard F. Powell. Mr. Powell, along with his wife, Mary Ann, have made new donations that will amount to several million dollars to help fund the child care center. "We are particularly grateful for the site where the child care center will be located. The oak trees will provide a wonderful shaded play ground for the children."

"We are deeply appreciative to the Powell family for their support over the years," stated Philip K. Beauchamp, president and chief executive officer, Morton Plant Mease Health Care. "Without their help, the child care center would continue to be a dream. This center will be such a positive impact in the lives of our team members and their families, and we can't wait for it to open."

Located on the campus of Morton Plant Hospital, the center will provide care to children ages two months to five years. Operated by the YWCA of Tampa Bay, the center will use the "Ages and Stages" curriculum that meets the National Association for Education of Young Children standards. Tuition will be market competitive. Hours will be 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. First priority will be given to children or guardians of Morton Plant Mease employees.

The 9,500 square-foot building will contain eight classrooms and an outdoor play area. The center's address will be 510 A Street in Clearwater. Architect for the building is Hoffman Architects P.A., Oldsmar, and the contractor is Clark & Logan Inc., Dunedin.

A child can be placed on the interest list for the Mary Ann and Bernard F. Powell Child Care and Learning Center by calling 727-462-7717.

The YWCA of Tampa Bay operates seven child development centers in Pinellas County using the latest teaching techniques and technology. Daily lesson plans focus on values such as appreciation of different cultures and racial diversity.

Established in 1994, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is an entity providing administrative and other services, to Morton Plant and Mease hospitals in Pinellas County and Morton Plant North Bay Hospital in Pasco County.

Contact: Beth Hardy

727/298-6199 (phone)

727/419-4471 (pager)