Billionaire Citadel CEO donates $25M to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to fund new surgical tower

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin on Tuesday made a historic $25 million charitable donation to Nicklaus Children's Hospital which will allow the facility to build a new 5-story surgical tower.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Nicklaus Children’s Hospital announced Tuesday morning that they will begin building a new five-story surgical tower to ensure that children have access to high-quality health care.

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava joined hospital staff, Miami-Dade city leaders and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, who donated $25 million to the children’s hospital to fund the tower.

“Ensuring that all children have access to high-quality health care has been a priority of mine for many years and I am honored today to play a role in expanding the important work of this incredible institution,” said Griffin.

The pediatric surgical tower will be located at the center of campus and away from the hospital perimeter and neighborhood.

The new structure will offer spacious and private pre-and post-surgical care spaces for the children and families that are now 35 years old and lack the size and ceiling height necessary.

The Nicklaus Children’s Hospital “treats nearly a half million patients each year, including 100,000 in its emergency room alone,” according to its website.

Levine Cava said the new project is a game changer in pediatric care.

“This is a transformative gift that will keep them at the leading edge of pediatric treatment and research,” she said.

Hospital officials say not only will the large donation help with building the new surgical tower, but it will help with the fight against cancer, blood disorders and heart issues seen in young patients like 3-month-old Kai, who had open heart surgery at two weeks old.

“Kai started going into heart failure, unfortunately, which we didn’t foresee, but, you know, the surgical team, the ICU team and the radiologist all acted quickly. He had surgery and now it’s as if nothing happened -- he’s just a normal baby,” said Kai’s mother, Jackie Farrow.

As a family who has benefited from the amazing care at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the Farrows say they are happy that this surgical tower will serve children for generations to come.

“It’s just nice to see people giving back and offering that hope to other families,” said Kai’s father, Rob Farrow.

Hospital officials told Local 10 News the surgical tower will be named after Griffin and it is expected to open in 2024.

About the Authors:

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.