Renovations complete for outpatient clinic

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- The renovations for a clinic at UF Health Shands Children's Hospital are now complete. The plan to renovate the Pediatric Infusion Center and Specialties Clinic was four years ago.

Six months later, the hospital is ready to kick off the opening of the outpatient infusion suite.

“It's going to be nice to have all of our patients on one floor and all together again,” UF Health Chief of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Dr. William "Bill” Slayton said.

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. "They'll be better infection control because of the fact that spaces are separated by solid walls."

Former UF punter Johnny Townsend who is now the punter for the Oakland Raiders created the Johnny Townsend Foundation to help fund the facility’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 wish he could be there today but their playing but he'll be here in a couple of weeks but just very proud of it.”

"We're very very proud of him and happy that he has found something that he feels passionate about and wants to continue helping,” Susan Townsend said.

Clay Townsend said he has a special bond with UF Shands Hospital.

“My father was here in the 80s—was a cancer patient and when Johnny first mentioned cancer patients and especially children, it was pretty special for me personally,” Clay Townsend said.

Children will start being treated in the clinic on Friday.