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University of Iowa News Release


Nov. 3, 2006

Children's Miracle Network Fundraiser Opens At Wal-Mart, SAM's Club Stores

Leaders with Children's Hospital of Iowa at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City - the region's Children's Miracle Network hospital - announced today that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will kick off a fundraising campaign during the month of November.

Wal-Mart and SAM'S Club locations across the region will sell pumpkin miracle balloon icons at each register to raise funds for hospitalized children cared for at Children's Hospital of Iowa. Shoppers checking out at Wal-Mart or SAM'S Club can simply purchase a pumpkin miracle balloon for $1 to make a difference for hospitalized pediatric patients. Organizers say these dollars will add up and send a powerful message of hope to patients and families during the most generous time of the year. All of the funds generated through the efforts of Wal-Mart and SAM'S Club during this campaign, as well as throughout the year, will stay in the local area and benefit children from across this region when they receive care at Children's Hospital of Iowa.

Children's Miracle Network and Wal-Mart became partners more than 19 years ago. Nationally, Wal-Mart has raised more than $300 million for its local Children's Miracle Network hospitals across the United States and Canada. Regionally, Wal-Mart stores in Iowa, southern Minnesota, western Illinois, and northern Missouri have raised $6.4 million dollars for Children's Hospital of Iowa over the past 18 years.

Children's Hospital of Iowa cares for more 140,000 patients a year.

"As the state's only academic medical center, we treat the sickest of children," said Michael Artman, M.D., UI professor and head of pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief for Children's Hospital of Iowa. "The funds raised by Wal-Mart and SAM'S Club benefit Children's Hospital of Iowa in many ways. We deeply appreciate their commitment to children and families."

Support from Wal-Mart and SAM's Club associates helped build a pediatric cardiac catheterization laboratory in 2000, added a million dollars toward a major renovation of the second-floor pediatric inpatient unit in 2002 and provided a 16-bed guesthouse in 2005 inside the hospital for families to stay close to their children.

Children's Miracle Network, an alliance of premier hospitals for children, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children by raising funds for children's hospitals across North America. Each year, the 170 Children's Miracle Network hospitals provide the finest medical care, life-saving research and preventative education to help millions of children overcome diseases and injuries of every kind. To learn more go to

Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics is the state's longest-serving children's hospital. For more information about how you can support Children's Hospital of Iowa and the Children's Miracle Network cause, contact Lisa Baum at 319-335-8484, or go online to

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

CONTACTS: Media: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945, Program: Lisa Baum, 319-335-8484, Writer: Lisa Baum.