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Steeplechase strengthens bond with Children’s Hospital

Mar. 28, 2013, 9:05 AM

This year’s Iroquois Steeplechase is set for May 11 and will again benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by Joe Howell)

As the Iroquois Steeplechase gears up for its annual spring event, the race this year will honor one of the leaders at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and also support a newly established fund for hospital research efforts.

The Iroquois Steeplechase, entering its 72nd year, at Percy Warner Park is the premier spring race in American steeplechasing and attracts more than 25,000 spectators each year.
The race this year is set for May 11.

Meg Rush, M.D., chief of staff and executive medical director of Children’s Hospital, was selected to serve as honorary co-chair of the race in recognition of her passion for helping children and leadership in clinical care and education.

Meg Rush, M.D.

“I’m honored to serve as an ambassador and co-chair for the Iroquois Steeplechase, an organization that understands the importance of helping children and critically ill infants,” Rush said. “The Iroquois has a dedicated interest in giving back to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and I look forward to representing the hospital as co-chair of the 72nd running.”

Rush joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1990, and over the past two decades has engaged Vanderbilt’s mission in all of its features — beginning her career as an investigator, becoming a leader in education and clinical care, and ultimately emerging as a senior administrative leader as she was named chief of staff for Children’s Hospital in 2007. She served as acting chair of the Department of Pediatrics from June 2011 through August 2012.

In addition to Rush’s honor as co-chair, the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation has also made a pledge with a five-year commitment to continue to support Children’s Hospital, the official charity of the Iroquois Steeplechase. Since the Steeplechase was founded in 1941, it has been organized and produced by the Horsemen’s Foundation.

The foundation’s $100,000 pledge establishes an endowed fund in Vanderbilt’s Department of Pediatrics named the Volunteer State Horsemen’s Foundation Iroquois Steeplechase Fund. This fund honors the 31-year partnership between the foundation and Children’s Hospital, through the Iroquois Steeplechase.

The fund will be used to support critical research addressing childhood diseases and/or support priority needs as determined by the chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Since 1981, Children’s Hospital has received more than $9 million from the event proceeds.

For more information about the Iroquois Steeplechase or to purchase tickets for the May 11 event, visit

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