October 9, 2009

Meeting reviews Children’s Hospital’s year

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Kevin Churchwell, M.D., speaks at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt town hall meeting. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Meeting reviews Children’s Hospital’s year

Kevin B. Churchwell M.D., chief executive officer and executive director of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, addressed a capacity crowd in the Children's Hospital Theater at the fall Town Hall Meeting Sept. 30.

Churchwell praised staff for staying the course during the previous fiscal year and for their efforts to maintain focus on continued excellence.

“Last fiscal year, amid the stressors of the economy, local changes and high volumes, you worked efficiently, allowing us to meet our budget, a financial accomplishment that helps us continue to serve all children regardless of ability to pay or gaps they may have in their insurance coverage,” Churchwell said.

“You need to know your work has not gone unnoticed. We have stayed focused on the task at hand — providing the best patient care, supporting one another and looking toward the future.”

He thanked staff for their contributions that led to the hospital receiving several national awards and recognitions, and detailed the comparative results published by The Leapfrog Group, which showed Children's Hospital led all other hospitals for quality and resource use, scoring in the 98th percentile.

Churchwell introduced Pat Givens, R.N., chief nursing officer, who explained Performance Management & Improvement's “Right Culture” initiative to promote 100 percent compliance on hand hygiene while hand sanitizer was handed out to each member of the audience.

Paul Hain, M.D., associate chief of staff, thanked staff for their diligence during the increased patient volumes due to the flu and H1N1 outbreaks.

“In speaking with our peers in the Southeast regions, our team response was remarkable. All volumes were seen within existing space, staff volunteered for extra hours, teams worked together to assure that increased patient volume did not adversely impact patients here for non-flu,” he said. “All team members worked diligently to help educate patients, families and visitors to the flu.”

Churchwell also recognized staff with 25, 30 and 35 years of service, as well as staff who recently received individual honors.

He then discussed the future of the hospital and the importance of building on philanthropy, and plans to help alleviate the challenges of having a hospital filled to capacity.

“If there is no money, there is no mission,” Churchwell said. “The future is about seizing the opportunity even when there are challenges.”

Hain joined Churchwell to explain new plans to add 14 beds at the site of the old Vanderbilt Children's Hospital on 6 South of Vanderbilt University Hospital to help with the inevitable increased volumes caused by the winter months.

“Whoever says you can't go home is wrong — we are headed back,” Hain said. “This doesn't solve our space problem, but it creates a wonderful opportunity to make winter a little easier.”

Plans have not been finalized about how the space will be used, but Hain expects those details to be released in the coming weeks.

Churchwell closed by thanking staff for the difference they continue to make each day.

“I want to thank you for that,” he said.