Wollongong Hospital's head of paediatrics Dr Susie Piper has big plans for the facility's children's ward and says a new fund-raising event will help provide the money to make it possible.
Run Wollongong on October 20 is a fun run organised by Cotton On Foundation. It aims to raise $1.8 million by 2018.
"Cotton On have had huge success with Run Geelong and Run Ballarat and now is taking that model across Australia, so we're quite lucky they've picked us," Dr Piper said.
"I've seen video from Geelong and Ballarat and it looks like everybody in town gets out for the day. It's a fun community event but it's also raising funds for local services."
The first project on Dr Piper's list is a new Children's Assessment Unit at Porter Street in North Wollongong for children with developmental delays.
"We've got plans for a facility drawn up but haven't had the funding," she said.
"If Run Wollongong is a success I'm really hoping we'll be turning the sod on that project later this year or early next."
Dr Piper is also looking to rejuvenate the children's ward.
Short-term plans include a new indoor playroom and further ahead she is looking at new clinic rooms, a short stay unit, and an outpatient care area that will double as a space for paediatric clinics.
One of Dr Piper's aims is to make the time children spend in hospital as brief and painless as possible.
"One of the things I'm passionate about is high quality care as close to home as possible," she said.
"It doesn't mean we won't have to transfer children up to Sydney Children's Hospital at times, but my goal is for the kids to have as much of their care and treatment done locally as they can."
She is also working on expanding the hospital's ability to treat children in their own homes, thus minimising the time they have to spend in hospital.
Dr Piper said hospital staff were behind Run Wollongong and she hoped the wider community would be as well.
"Lots of the hospital staff are getting involved and putting teams together," she said.
"I'm doing the six-kilometre walk with my daughter and I've told her I will do it in a 'onesie' if she will."