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Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt begins construction on four-floor expansion

Sep. 19, 2016, 11:49 AM

Rendering of the new construction at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
Rendering of the new construction at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (Courtesy of Blair + Mui Dowd)

Construction is underway at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for a planned four-floor expansion that will advance the size and scope of the hospital’s comprehensive array of specialty and subspecialty pediatric health care programs.

 The additional space will be built over a 30-month period to provide the necessary square footage to meet the future health care needs of the children and families from Tennessee, the surrounding region and across the nation. Once fully completed, all four floors of new construction will add 160,000 square feet of additional space atop the hospital’s existing structure, bringing Children’s Hospital’s total footprint to over 1 million square feet.

The facility’s expansion is being supported by the “Growing to New Heights” campaign, a three-year, $40 million fundraising effort that will help cover the total construction cost of more than $100 million. To support the campaign, every member of the Children’s Hospital Board contributed.

“Every day more than 1,400 children and families enter our hospital and clinics on the Children’s Hospital campus and through our facilities in surrounding communities, entrusting our clinicians to provide the very best care. This expansion represents our continued commitment to families in Nashville and beyond,” said Luke Gregory, Chief Executive Officer for Children’s Hospital. “We could not have reached this point and realized our expansion goals without the generous support of our patients and families, community pediatricians, the business and entertainment communities, and especially the Carell family. We are very grateful to you all and very excited for what the future holds.”

 To launch the campaign, the daughters of the late Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. — Kathryn Carell Brown, Julie Carell Stadler, Edie Carell Johnson — and their families, made a cornerstone gift of $10 million. The “Growing to New Heights” campaign is led by Kathryn Carell Brown.

 “It has been such an honor to be a part of the Growing to New Heights Campaign. My co-chairs have been so fabulous. The way the community has embraced this campaign has been phenomenal, and I have met so many wonderful people. We are lucky to live in Middle Tennessee where philanthropy is embraced, honored and appreciated. We have so many great things here in Nashville, one of the best being the Children’s Hospital. Everyone has supported it — from individuals to clubs to families that have been patients here, to businesses, corporations, foundations, and the entertainment community,” Brown said.

 “Having this additional space allows even more children to come here for their care. It’s wonderful for the community and the surrounding region. My parents loved this hospital. My dad felt so passionate about children and helping others — he said, ‘if you are fortunate and you have means, then you need to give back to help others. This is an important place to give back to and to be a part of,” she said.

 Along with Kathryn Carell Brown, co-chairs for the “Growing to New Heights” campaign are Kix Brooks, country music artist/entertainer; Rick Dreiling, former Chief Executive Officer, Dollar General Corporation; Steven Hostetter, Chief Executive Officer, TriStar Energy LLC; Bob Rolfe, Chief Executive Officer, Medical Reimbursements of America, Inc.; and artist manager Clarence Spalding, a partner at Maverick.

 “Our mission is to support the health care needs, no matter how complex, of every child we serve. The addition of this new space positions Children’s Hospital to accommodate the explosive growth we are experiencing throughout Nashville and across the region so that children and families can continue to receive world class care close to home,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  “I am deeply appreciative to the Carell family, the campaign co-chairs and so many others throughout our community who are generously supporting this expansion.”

 The first two floors to be completed will provide approximately 80,000 square feet of new patient care space and will include 76 critical and acute care beds for newborns and pediatric patients. The new space will also include family areas, a playroom, a large waiting room, educational space and patient consultation rooms.

 The expansion was planned and designed by Donald Blair of Blair + Mui Dowd Architects of New York. Blair has served as planning architect for many of Vanderbilt’s patient care and research facilities. Turner construction has been hired to carry out the project.

 “The arrival of the construction trailers, the preliminary site work, and soon two cranes, mark an exciting time for Children’s Hospital as we begin the next chapter in our journey to provide more children and families across the region with comprehensive, state-of-the-art pediatric health care,” said John W. Brock III, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief for Children’s Hospital, Monroe Carell Jr. Professor, Director of Pediatric Urology and Senior Vice President of Pediatric Surgical Services. “I am in awe of the outpouring of support from our community members and business partners, and forever grateful to the Carell family and Campaign Cabinet for their vision and commitment to make this expansion possible.”

 Employing nearly 2,500 faculty and staff, including 425 full-time physicians trained in more than 30 pediatric medical and surgical specialties, Children’s Hospital remains the region’s only comprehensive pediatric health care provider. As a nonprofit organization, the hospital cares for children from Tennessee and across the country regardless of their ability to pay.

 “The dedicated physicians, nurses and other health care professionals with Children’s Hospital are passionate about serving the needs of our most vulnerable patients. The miraculous work they do each day will have even greater impact on our community through this new space,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.

 Children’s Hospital opened its doors Feb. 8, 2004, becoming the first full-service children’s hospital in the region. Each year, inpatient stays and surgical procedures have grown, remaining at near capacity and exceeding all projections. In May 2012, a $30 million, 30,000-square-foot, 33-bed expansion was opened that created capacity for additional acute care, surgical and neonatal intensive care services. Currently, the hospital has 267 inpatient beds.

 Children’s Hospital has also been recognized for 10 consecutive years in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Children’s Hospital rankings. For 2016-2017, the hospital achieved a maximum of 10 out 10 nationally ranked pediatric specialties, with six of those specialties in the top 20.

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