October 22, 2015

CMA pledges $3 million to boost Children’s expansion

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is receiving significant philanthropic support through a $3 million gift from the Country Music Association (CMA), Vanderbilt University Medical Center leaders, event host Kix Brooks and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum announced this week.

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum Announces $3 Million Donation

With patients of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum announces a $3 million gift from the Country Music Association that will help add four new floors to Children’s Hospital. (photo by Susan Urmy)

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is receiving significant philanthropic support through a $3 million gift from the Country Music Association (CMA), Vanderbilt University Medical Center leaders, event host Kix Brooks and Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum announced this week.

“Country Music is a format known for telling stories. Now the Country Music community will be known for building them,” said Brooks, who serves on boards for both CMA and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital. “Building floors means helping more children and families – locally, regionally and around the world – and I can’t imagine anyone with a heart not embracing what is going on at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. When you see the courage of a child, or the face of a parent, you know how important it is for our industry to support the ongoing growth of Children’s Hospital and why it is life changing.”

(Left to Right) Frank Bumstead, chair of the CMA Board of Directors; Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum; Kathryn Carell Brown, chair of the Children’s Hospital “Growing to New Heights” campaign; Kix Brooks, Board Member for both the CMA and Children’s Hospital, and Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, celebrate the announcement of the CMA’s $3 million gift to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by Susan Urmy)

“It fills me with joy to get to be a small part of sharing the heart of the Country Music community today with the CMA and Kix at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,” said Scott. “I know I can speak for all the other artists when I say that we have an immense appreciation for everything the hospital is doing in our very own backyard for some of the bravest and strongest kids out there. The smiles I saw on their faces today, despite what they’re facing, is exactly why we’re dedicated to being sure as many children and families get the best care possible.”

CMA’s gift represents the Association’s further investment in the health and well-being of children throughout the region and will be used to support costs associated with Children’s Hospital’s four-floor, 160,000-square-foot construction expansion. Children’s Hospital is adding the new space to better meet the needs of the growing number of critically ill children and families who come from across the region to receive the comprehensive array of highly specialized pediatric health care services that only the hospital can provide.

The gift from CMA and its membership marks a high point in the longstanding relationship between the Nashville neighbor organizations that reside just blocks apart. VUMC has long supported CMA, its membership, and their families through ongoing efforts to provide health care services, both conventional and those tailored to help artists protect their health and achieve full potential.

VUMC’s participation in and support of CMA’s Instrumental Healthcare program allows CMA members and their families access to affordable health care through the Medical Center’s diverse adult and pediatric specialty and subspecialty programs. VUMC has also long supported the unique needs of CMA artists through such highly specialized health care programs as the Vanderbilt Voice Center and the Musicians Hearing Center. Through its LifeFlight Event Medicine program, VUMC also provides emergency medical services to support the CMA Music Festival each year.

CMA’s gift will contribute significantly to construction of the hospital’s four new inpatient floors that will add approximately 40,000 square feet per floor and bring the hospital’s total capacity to nearly 1 million square feet. An estimated 70 to 80 new beds will be added when the two initial floors are opened. These floors will focus on the care of critically ill or injured children, including premature infants, neurosurgery, organ transplant and other critical care patients.

“CMA and our members have benefited a great deal from our longstanding relationship with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Children’s Hospital,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Our partnership is the definition of reciprocal care: Vanderbilt has provided affordable health care options to our members and staff through CMA’s health insurance programs; they are in our ‘backyard’ attending to the immediate needs of the industry; and they are widely supported by our artist community including Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley and Rascal Flatts. Supporting their ongoing growth is mutually beneficial.”

CMA and its membership continue to generously support VUMC, and in particular the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, in many other ways including countless fundraisers, concerts, philanthropic events and direct financial contributions. In addition, artists give the gift of time visiting VUMC’s hospitals and clinics to brighten the days of patients and their families, as well as the Medical Center’s faculty and staff.

More than 200 artists have brought the healing power of music to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt over the past three years.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Country Music Association and its members for this very generous gift. It will have a profound impact on the children and families of this region,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “This amazing support through the CMA and its members reflects an ever growing sense of community we all feel. Our mutual commitment to this community is taking on many forms – and is manifest here by making it possible for more children to get the very specialized care they need, when they need it most.”

Children’s Hospital is the region’s only comprehensive, nonprofit provider of pediatric health care services. With the explosive growth in Middle Tennessee’s population, Children’s Hospital served 269,449 patients and their families through clinic visits, and 15,480 children were admitted to the hospital from July, 1, 2014, through June, 30, 2015. During this same period there were 53,964 patient visits to the Children’s Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department and 16,793 surgical procedures were performed.

“Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is consistently at capacity and experiencing increasing demand for the unique high quality services we offer. This gift from the Country Music Association and its membership is an important investment in the future of the children and families of this region, helping us to develop further capacity to care for additional critically ill pediatric patients,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., Deputy Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System. “Our physicians, nurses and staff, who are deeply committed to helping all children return to health, are equally grateful to the CMA for this support.”

Through the hospital’s “Growing to New Heights” philanthropy campaign, chaired by Kathryn Carell Brown, the goal is to raise $40 million over three years to create funds that will support the total estimated cost of the building’s $100 million expansion. The Growing to New Heights campaign cabinet announced on Sept. 2 that $30 million has already been committed toward reaching the philanthropic goal. Today’s announcement by the CMA brings this total to $33 million.

Children’s Hospital, which opened in 2004, is Middle Tennessee’s only freestanding children’s hospital as well as the region’s only comprehensive pediatric health care provider, currently employing 2,500 faculty and staff, including 425 full-time pediatricians and pediatric specialists skilled in 30 pediatric medical and surgical specialties.

For nine consecutive years, Children’s Hospital has ranked among the nation’s top 50 pediatric centers in the annual U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For 2015, Children’s Hospital achieved national rankings for a maximum of 10 out of 10 pediatric specialty programs, with half of those specialties among the top 20 in the country.

For additional information about the “Growing to New Heights” campaign and how you can contribute, visit vu.edu/growing.

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