April 12, 2002

The Kresge Foundation awards $1 million challenge to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

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A new three-dimensional model of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt was recently unveiled. The model is on display in the hospital lobby.

The Kresge Foundation awards $1 million challenge to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

Vanderbilt University has been awarded a $1 million challenge grant by The Kresge Foundation to help with construction costs of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

The eight-story hospital, currently under construction on the Vanderbilt Medical Center campus, will be the only freestanding children’s hospital in Middle Tennessee. When completed in the fall of 2003, it will mark the first time in its 30-year history that Children’s Hospital will be able to offer comprehensive services in one building.

A campaign to raise funds for the new facility was launched in 1999 by a $20 million gift from Monroe J. Carell Jr., and a $2 million gift from the Junior League of Nashville. Carell, chairman of Central Parking Corporation, is leading the fund-raising effort.

The Kresge Foundation, an independent, private foundation, was created in 1924 by Sebastian S. Kresge “to promote the well-being of mankind.”

The challenge grant is contingent on Vanderbilt raising an additional $7 million in new gifts and grants by October 2003.

“It is a generous gift and one that will help us reach out to new donors,” said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “We are building a Children’s Hospital that will reflect the dedication and commitment Vanderbilt has to treating children and their families.”

The Kresge Foundation has awarded 51 grants in 2002 for a total of $40,304,000.

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital is operated as a community resource, with more than 45 percent of the children admitted to Children’s Hospital covered under TennCare or out-of-state Medicaid. No child is denied care on the basis of limited ability to pay. More than 73 percent of the children cared for in the pediatric acute care clinic are covered under TennCare.

Children’s Hospital now occupies three floors of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, with outpatient services in four nearby buildings. Since 1980 admissions to Children’s Hospital have increased by 45 percent. This past year, more than 65,000 children sought care and treatment at Children’s Hospital or one of its clinics, and that number is expected to grow more than 20 percent over the next few years.

The primary area served by VCH includes South Central Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, and Northern Alabama. This region has a population of 2.2 million people, approximately 700,000 of whom are children. VCH provides unique services in a four-state area. For example, VCH is the only hospital in Tennessee currently performing major pediatric heart surgery, and its burn unit treats children from many surrounding areas.

In addition to medical care, VCH conducts extensive research in support of prevention and improving care for children. It has one of the largest pediatric vaccine development and evaluation programs in the country. The pioneering fetal surgery program is one of only three such programs in the country and provides significant research and care of children with spina bifida.