October 28, 2010

Rascal Flatts honored for tireless support

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For several years, Rascal Flatts members Joe Don Rooney, left, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus have been strong supporters of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (file photo)

Rascal Flatts honored for tireless support

Award-winning music group Rascal Flatts is being honored today at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital for their unwavering devotion to the care of children.

Rascal Flatts has raised nearly $3 million over the past several years through concerts and other events, and they also have spent generous amounts of time with children and families. Money from their fundraisers will be used to build a new specialized radiology suite.

As a tribute to their continued dedication, Children's Hospital administration will unveil the naming of the pediatric surgical suite as the “Rascal Flatts Surgery Center.”

“In honor of the extraordinary philanthropic commitment of Rascal Flatts to our patients and families at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, we are truly delighted to announce the naming of the new Rascal Flatts Surgery Center,” said Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., James C. Overall Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

“Most importantly, this center, which houses all our existing and new surgical programs, will become the home for our new state-of-the-art interventional radiology suite for the care of children with heart disease, cancer and other critical surgical and medical problems.”

Rascal Flatts members, whose photos and albums decorate walls in Children's Hospital, said they are humbled by the generous display of appreciation.

“We became involved with the work at Children's Hospital so that children will continue to have a wonderful place to get better and to help their families move on with their lives,” said Gary LeVox. “We have built some long-lasting relationships, not only with the staff, but with some of the kids and their parents as well.”

Rascal Flatts' contributions will allow Children's Hospital's surgery center to develop a new interventional radiology suite to expand services offered to families.

Pediatric surgeons and radiologists will use the suite for challenging surgical issues that involve procedures such as liver transplants and difficult abdomen and chest infections.

Designs have been drafted to build the suite on the third floor of the hospital.

It will include high-tech radiology equipment and devices, including a bi-planar imaging system.

More than 12,700 pediatric surgeries are performed each year at Children's Hospital.

Doctors conduct general and specialized surgeries on children, from infancy to adolescence, to address a myriad of congenital and acquired health conditions.

“We are so fortunate to have forged a relationship with Rascal Flatts. I continue to be amazed, as I have told them, by their level of commitment to this hospital,” said John Brock III, M.D., surgeon in chief of Children's Hospital. “Their gift to develop an interventional radiology suite will allow us to further our services for children.”

A sign that bears the group's name will adorn the entrance to the surgery center.

“All parents and children who enter the area will walk under the Rascal Flatts sign, but the words we write will never adequately express what they have done and how people like them, as well as others, allow us to do what we do,” Brock said.