Why We Run: A First Look at NC State Park Scholars Children’s Specialty Care Program

Elise Romola, Georgia Burgess, Matt Traenkle, Natalie Collier

On Dec. 5, 2019, Park Scholars and Krispy Kreme Challenge race directors Georgia Burgess ’21, Natalie Collier ’21, Elise Romola ’21, and Matt Traenkle ’21 received a first look at the recently opened NC State Park Scholars Children’s Specialty Care Program at UNC Children’s Raleigh. 

“It was so amazing to see the efforts of the Krispy Kreme Challenge over the past 15 years play a significant part in the opening of this clinic,” said Matt Traenkle. “Not only does it affirm that the work we do makes a real impact at UNC Children’s, but also that it is now helping so many families and kids in and around Raleigh.”

“The atmosphere of the facility is incredible,” Natalie Collier remarked. “The clinic is organized by various regions of North Carolina, with images depicting iconic scenery from each of the regions. One of the staff members shared that their reasoning for this was so that children who come from distant parts of the state can enter the clinic and be comforted by a view that is familiar to them. One of my favorite aspects of the tour was an interactive replica of the NC State Fair, including a scavenger hunt that featured NC State’s very own Mr. Wuf!”

The new facility allows patients to access multiple services in a central location. “They have all of their specialty areas under one roof in Raleigh so they can offer a complete menu of care for kids with all types of medical needs,” Traenkle explained.

Stephanie Davis, Natalie Collier, Matt Traenkle, Georgia Burgess, Elise Romola, Wesley Burks
Collier, Traenkle, Burgess, and Romola met Stephanie Davis (L), Physician-In-Chief for UNC Children’s Raleigh, and Wesley Burks (R), dean of UNC School of Medicine and CEO of UNC Health.

The NC State Park Scholars Children’s Specialty Care Program is located on the first and second floors of UNC Children’s Raleigh and includes pulmonary, neurology, surgical, endocrinology, hematology-oncology, infusion, and gastrointestinal specialty care. The hospital also features an urgent care center on the ground floor.

The naming of the specialty care program honors the work of Park Scholars who have organized the Krispy Kreme Challenge since its inception. With more than $1.6 million raised of a $2 million commitment to UNC Children’s Hospital, the Challenge is the hospital’s largest unrestricted donor.

The 16th annual Krispy Kreme Challenge will take place on Feb. 1, 2020.

“Everyone can and should run the Krispy Kreme Challenge,” Collier explained. “With Challenger, Casual, and No Doughnut options, we have varying categories of participation that can accommodate all types of activity levels and diet preferences. Not only is it a ton of fun to dress up, get active, and eat doughnuts on a Saturday morning with friends and family, but the Krispy Kreme Challenge is an example of what a local community can accomplish with a common goal of supporting the children’s hospital in mind.”