June 2, 2006

Children’s Hospital, Easter Seals to team

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Douglas Vaughan, M.D., seated, is principal investigator of a $16 million grant to study hemostatic and thrombotic diseases. Stephen Davis, Ph.D., left, and Samuel Santoro, M.D., Ph.D., are two of the project leaders.
Photo by Dana Johnson

Children’s Hospital, Easter Seals to team

The two regional leaders in children's rehabilitation and physical therapy services are teaming up to form a premier center for the care of children with rehabilitation needs and disabilities.

A letter of intent has been signed for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt's Rehabilitation Department to relocate its services to the state-of-the-art McWhorter Family Children's Center at Easter Seals later this summer.

Vanderbilt Children's Rehabilitation, currently housed at The Vanderbilt Clinic, will move its services to the 13,000-square-foot, specially designed, McWhorter Center at 2001 Woodmont Blvd. in Green Hills. The Center, which opened in 2003, currently provides rehabilitation services and an inclusive childcare center for children with and without disabilities. Easter Seals clients will continue to receive services provided by existing staff, who will become employed by Vanderbilt Children's Hospital.

Gingi Lanius, president and CEO of Easter Seals Tennessee, says the Vanderbilt presence will take already strong services from each entity to the next level.

“Easter Seals is thrilled to join its children's services with one of the nation's top 10 pediatric health care facilities. This collaboration will allow us to build additional capacity and serve more children and their families.”

Jim Shmerling, CEO of Children's Hospital, says patients and families will be the winners in this agreement.

“The name Easter Seals has always been associated with top-level rehabilitation services for children, and the McWhorter Center is beautifully designed to deliver those services. We will be proud to be part of that.

“Bringing the expertise of Vanderbilt Children's rehabilitation services to the McWhorter Center is a winning proposition for the whole community.”

This agreement adds to the collaborations of the Children's Hospital's Department of Rehabilitation Services, which already includes occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT) and speech therapy (ST) in collaboration with professionals from the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.

Easter Seals' mission is to create solutions that change the lives of children and adults with disabilities or other special needs and their families.

Annually, the organization serves more than 4,000 people in Tennessee with home health and employment services, camping and recreation, health and wellness and medical rehabilitation.