2016 Prendergast Child Advocate of the Year – Cathy Timuta

Posted on Jun 8, 2016

Timuta,-Cathy(Fort Myers, Fla. – June 6, 2016) — Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has awarded Cathy Timuta, executive director for the Healthy Start Coalition of Southwest Florida  with the 2016 Prendergast Family Child Advocacy Award in recognition of her passion and commitment to keeping children safe through drowning prevention efforts. Timuta received the award at the Golisano Children’s Hospital Annual Pediatric Conference at Sanibel Harbour Resort  on May 21.

Every year, in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and the Prendergast Family Endowment Fund host a lecture on child abuse and award a special individual in the community for their commitment to prevention.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. It highlights the importance of protecting our children and the role each of us plays within the community” says Kathy Bridge-Liles, Chief Administrative Officer of Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.  “Because of Cathy’s passion and leadership, more than 100,000 babies have had a “healthier start” in life.

As Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions, Timuta helped lead the successful efforts to stop $9.5 million in proposed cuts to Healthy Start in 2009.  She is a past President of the Association and helped design a statewide information system for the MomCare program.   As the Florida Medicaid model reformed, Timuta was instrumental in keeping Healthy Start Coalitions funded and under local control.  Currently, she serves on the Expert Advisor’s Committee of the statewide Healthy Start 2.5 Initiative. Locally, she has served on many important task forces, including Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome; Infant Death Reviews, Substance Exposed Newborns; Safe Sleep; Teen Pregnancy Prevention; Fit Friendly; the 2nd Trimester Task Force; and she is actively recruiting partners and funding for an Infant-Toddler Resource Center.

Timuta has been the driving force behind the Golden Baby Shoe Awards, which are presented annually to health care and social service professionals who help make a difference for moms and babies in Lee, Collier, Hendy and Glades Counties.

In 2005, Mrs. Eileen Prendergast and her family gave the community “a million reasons” to help children in Southwest Florida when they made a $1 million gift to establish the Prendergast Endowment Fund for the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida’s Child Advocacy Program and the annual Prendergast Child Advocate of the Year recognition. The program features free parenting classes taught in partnership with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida to prevent child abuse. These classes have touched the lives of over 7,000 parents in the Southwest Florida region.


About Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is part of Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County, Florida. It is the only acute care children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. The children’s hospital opened in 1994 within HealthPark Medical Center. The name was changed to Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in 2012. Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, the primary fund raising entity for Golisano Children’s Hospital, is currently engaged in a major capital campaign to enhance pediatric hospital care in Southwest Florida by building a new 292,000 square foot, 128-bed children’s hospital on the campus of HealthPark Medical Center. For more info, visit ChildrensHospitalGoal.org