April 16, 1999

Carells give $20 million to build new VCH

Carells give $20 million to build new VCH


Monroe Carell Jr.

Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. today announced a gift of $20 million to help build a new, free-standing Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on the Vanderbilt Medical Center campus.

Carell, chairman and chief executive officer of Central Parking Corporation, is serving as chairman of the Campaign for Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. The Carell's gift launches the formal fund-raising campaign designed to raise $50 million toward the new hospital, which will be a comprehensive home for children's health services.

Carell, a longtime member and past chairman of the Children's Hospital board of directors, and his family have a long history of supporting Vanderbilt, including the endowment of the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Professor of Pediatric Cardiology.

With the region's growing population and the increasing medical needs of the area, a new Children's Hospital will allow Vanderbilt to continue to provide the state-of-the art health care it has been nationally recognized for, said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor of Health Affairs.

"Our family has an untiring commitment to Children's Hospital and the role it plays in serving the needs of the community," said Carell. "Children's Hospital is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of its patients. I look forward to being a part of this remarkable venture that will continue to ensure the highest quality of care for our most precious assets – the children."

The new hospital will replace the current facility that was built in 1980 as part of Vanderbilt University Hospital. There are several reasons for the move to a larger facility – services have outgrown the space, hospital admissions have increased by more than 45 percent, clinic visits have risen by 215 percent and over the past eight years, 36 new clinical programs have been added.

The new building will house inpatient and outpatient pediatric care and will serve as an anchor of a regional hub for pediatric health care needs.

"Offering consolidated services in a family-centered environment is the direction we have been moving for quite some time," said Jacobson.

"As we have outgrown our current space, it has become necessary to build a facility that caters to the tremendous needs of a fast-growing segment of our population. We intend to build a hospital that will reflect the dedication and commitment Vanderbilt has to treating children and their families," he said. "With the many changes in health care this is the perfect opportunity to build a facility that can highlight the optimal services we provide for our patients and families."

Jacobson says Carell's gift is a great start to the Children's Hospital Campaign, which is geared to raise the nucleus of funds needed to build the facility at an estimated cost of $125 million. Additional clinic space and outpatient services will cost $20 million.

"Monroe and Ann Carell have given us an excellent start on this project," said Vanderbilt Chancellor, Joe B. Wyatt. "As we move into the next phase, we are fortunate to have such support and enthusiasm that the Carells generate, which far exceeds any financial contributions. They take a personal interest in the welfare of the children in the hospital.

"Because of their strong commitment, we at Vanderbilt are able to create a dynamic facility built from the ground up and based on the philosophy of family-centered care."

Construction on the new Children's Hospital is slated to begin this fall with an estimated completion date in early 2002. The architectural firm of Earl Swensson Associates of Nashville and design consultants Boston-based Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott have been collaborating on the plans.

Established in 1971, Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital is the region's only health care facility dedicated solely to the care of children. The services cover the spectrum of care from basic primary care services to sophisticated services offered nowhere else in the region to home health care and long-term follow-up of chronic diseases.