February 8, 2008

Town hall meet hits Children’s Hospital highlights

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Kevin Churchwell, M.D., left, hosts last week’s town hall meeting at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Also on hand were Pat Givens, R.N., center, and Peter Martin. (photo by Neil Brake)

Town hall meet hits Children’s Hospital highlights

Incoming Pediatrics chair Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., attended the town hall meeting. (photo by Neil Brake)

Incoming Pediatrics chair Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., attended the town hall meeting. (photo by Neil Brake)

Kevin Churchwell M.D., chief executive officer of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, updated faculty and staff on the hospital's recent highlights at last week's town hall meeting.

First was an update on the recent approval of the certificate of need to expand Children's Hospital and integrate obstetrical services. Children's Hospital has been operating at 90 percent capacity, and sometimes higher, for several months now.

Churchwell said that even with the expansion, there will still be a need for more hospital rooms to treat the children of Nashville, and Children's Hospital is currently exploring options surrounding the issue.

Jonathan Gitlin, M.D., of Washington University, who will take the helm as the new chair of the Department of Pediatrics in June, was introduced at the town hall meeting.

“It's a great privilege and honor for me to be here, and it will be a great honor for me to come here and learn from you. I'll do the best I can,” Gitlin told the crowd.

Pat Givens, R.N., associate hospital director of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer, handed out nearly two dozen awards to different areas of the hospital that have been recognized by the outside consulting firm that measures patient preferences, Professional Research Consultants Inc. The awards were announced last year.

Givens said preference rankings for Children's Hospital continue to be excellent.

Peter Martin, administrative resident for Children's Hospital, spoke about the 18-member elevate Steering Committee for Children's Hospital and their objectives. These include providing oversight for elevate and customer service initiatives, determining the need for specific service-related teams and developing the teams, tracking customer satisfaction survey data and identifying, developing and implementing learning opportunities that promote a customer service culture.

“Elevate has been here for three years and it’s important for us to make it successful,” Churchwell said.

Justine Kleinrichert, director of Financial Services at Children's Hospital, gave a financial overview for the past six months.

After the presentations, Churchwell opened the meeting up to questions.

“I was extremely pleased with the number of individuals who took the time to come to the meeting,” Churchwell said. “It really shows that our staff, physicians and nurses are invested in our hospital and in our future.”