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B o a r d o f D i r e c t o r s
Jeffory Jennings, M.D.
Debbie Christiansen, M.D.
Keith D. Goodwin
Lewis Harris, M.D.
A. David Martin
Christopher Miller, M.D.
Bill Terry, M.D.
M e d i c a l S t a f f
David Nickels, M.D.
Chief of Staff
John Buchheit, M.D.
Vice Chief of Staff
John Little, M.D.
C h i e f s o f S e r v i c e s
Jeanann Pardue, M.D.
Chief of Medicine
Mark Cramolini, M.D.
Chief of Surgery
A d m i n i s t r a t i o n
Keith D. Goodwin
Vice President for Legal Services & General Council
Laura Barnes, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.A.A.,B.C.
Vice President for Patient Care
Vice President for Human Resources
Joe Childs, M.D.
Vice President for Medical Services
Vice President for Operations
A quarterly publication of East Tennessee
Children’s Hospital, It’s About Children is designed
to inform the East Tennessee community about the
hospital and the patients we serve. East Tennessee
Children’s Hospital’s vision is Leading the Way to
Healthy Children. Children’s Hospital is a private,
independent, not-for-profit pediatric medical center
that has served the East Tennessee region for
more than 70 years and is certified by the state of
Tennessee as a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric
Ellen Liston, APR, Fellow PRSA
Director of Community Relations
Director of Development
Neil Crosby and Wade Payne
“Because Children are Special…”
...they deserve the best possible health care given
in a positive, family-centered atmosphere of
friendliness, cooperation, and support - regardless
of race, religion, or ability to pay.”
...their medical needs are closely related to their
emotional and informational needs; therefore, the
total child must be considered in treating any illness
...their health care requires family involvement,
special understanding, special equipment, and
specially trained personnel who recognize that
children are not miniature adults.”
...their health care can best be provided by
a facility with a well-trained medical and hospital
staff whose only interests and concerns are with the
total health and well-being of infants, children, and
Statement of Philosophy
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital
On the cover: Children’s Hospital patient Cody Tarver
is ready for the holidays. Read his story on pages 4-5.
“ D e a r C h i l d r e n ’ s ”
Dear Children’s Hospital,
I just wanted to make sure the staff that took care of my son in room 236 on July23 and 24 know how much I appreciate them. They went more than the extra mile tomake sure we understood everything and helped Peyton deal with the tests he had toface. The child life specialist, “Ms. Sara,” was just a wonderful help to Peyton and us.She calmed more fears than she probably knows. The nurses also helped my motherand my older two boys find a place to stay the night and directed them there. Theyhadn’t planned on coming down until Peyton spoke to his brothers on the phone andcried for them and their mamaw to come to Knoxville. Keep up the great work! Thesepeople are truly angels!!!
August 11, 2008
Dear Children’s Hospital,
My son, Kristian Hackney, was admitted last week through the ER
for an appendectomy. I just wanted to say what a blessing it was to have
such wonderful, caring and talented people work with my son. Chad and
Seth in the ER were amazing and so helpful. They could not have taken
better care of Kristian. Cathy was our nurse on the fourth floor, and she
was so wonderful, we wish we could have taken her home with us. Sara
from Child Life made several visits with Kristian. He was very sad to be
in the hospital, and she made such a difference in him. These people are
so talented and you should be proud to have them work for you. Thank
you from our family to all the staff for taking care of Kristian and helping
him during his stay.
July 26, 2008
Dear Dr. Wirthwein, Cathy Van Ostrand and Sarah Mathis,
How can our family thank you enough for the overwhelming care and
concern you showed us when we were so far from home and numb with the news
we had received regarding our son, Jarrod.
We are so grateful the Lord sent us to you. It was the perfect place for us to go,
and the Lord knew we needed to be there. You took care of us down to the tiniest
detail. You answered every question multiple times. You spent five to six hours
each day explaining and teaching. You were encouraging and helpful and hopeful.
You even walked us down to find the cafeteria one day and walked us down to our
van the next. We felt like we were the only patients you had to care for.
We don’t believe it was a coincidence that we were in Tennessee and in the
Knoxville area when all this happened. We completely believe the Lord took us to
that area because there was the most unbelievable diabetic unit that went above and beyond anything we have ever heard of. We
had tried to make vacation plans in both the northeast and out west, and, normally, have no problem getting the accommodations
we need. But this time the doors kept shutting on us. The very day that I asked the Lord, “Well, where do You want us to go on
vacation?” we got an email from some friends in the mountains to come and stay with them for a few days. Because of that, we
were in the Knoxville area when Jarrod got so sick and were just 45 minutes from the exact hospital where we needed to be.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for taking care of our family. I tell everyone I meet about how wonderful you are.
Thank you for letting the Lord use you to help us. You all are in our prayers.
Don and Laura Palmer, Gulf Breeze, Florida
P.S.- I had to include one more example of your wonderful care and attention to your patients. Our son really wanted to get a
root beer float from the old-fashioned A&W restaurant near our hotel. I walked up to the nurse’s station and began to ask Cathy
and Sarah how we could get that special treat for him.
Before I was even finished talking, a nurse whom we had never even had contact with, who could have continued working
on whatever she was doing, overheard our conversation, pulled up the A&W website and told us exactly how many carbs are in
an A&W diet root beer float. She didn’t have to do that but she saw a need and she jumped at the opportunity to help. Tell her
Jarrod, Don, Rachel and Laura Palmer (left to right)
Safe Kids update
As the lead organization,
Children’s Hospital works with
Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area
on a number of community events
to prevent unintentional injury in
children by providing information
about how to stay safe. The
following are just some of the recent
events Safe Kids has coordinated in
the local community:
Campbell County Bike-Helmet
Safe Kids of the Greater
Knox Area and Campbell County
Coordinated School Health teamed
up to host a bike-helmet fitting
event on Saturday, August 9. The
event took place at the LaFollette
Pediatric Clinic from 10 a.m. to
noon. A Safe Kids coalition member,
the East Tennessee Epilepsy
Foundation, provided 52 helmets
that were distributed during this
two-hour period. Special thanks
to the LaFollette Police and Fire
Departments and the LaFollette
Pediatric Clinic for partnering with
Safe Kids for this event.
Hola Knoxville Hispanic
Children’s Hospital and Safe
Kids of the Greater Knox Area joined
together to participate in and serve as
first time sponsors for the 10th annual
Hola Knoxville Hispanic Heritage
Festival on September 27 from
11 a.m. to 8 p.m at Market Square
Mall in Knoxville.
The festival was a celebration of
Hispanic cultures and traditions and
was attended by around 10,000 people.
Children’s Hospital provided
information on pediatric health care
issues, including the importance of
hand washing and when to go to the
Emergency Room, while Safe Kids
informed families and other attendees
about injury prevention with a focus
on proper car seat installation and fire
safety. Spanish-language interpreters
from the Children’s Hospital Social
Work Department were also on hand
to give details about the interpretation
services offered by the hospital.
by Christie Sithiphone,
Children’s Hospital benefits from volunteer gift
Children’s Hospital benefits from volunteer gift The volunteer program plays an integral role in makingChildren’s Hospital a special place for patients and their families.The program consists of as many as 225-250 volunteers who devotetheir time and energy to brightening a patient’s day or assistingdepartments with miscellaneous tasks. In addition to the helpful services they provide on a daily basis,the volunteers also present financial gifts to the hospital each year.On September 16, Anne Palmer, the chairperson for Children’sHospital’s Volunteers, presented President/CEO Keith Goodwinwith a donation of $55,000. These funds were generated from GiftShop profits and will be allocated as follows:
$15,801 for the Open Door Endowment Fund, which
ensures care is available to all children
$15,000 as a Fantasy of Trees pledge to help sponsor the
main ticket lobby
$13,000 for the Neurology Sleep Lab to purchase a device to
monitor carbon dioxide during sleep studies using adhesive padson the chest rather than a tube in a child’s nose$4,699 for Education to purchase audiovisual supplies and a laptop
computer for presentations
$3,000 for Outpatient Clinics to purchase six flat screen televisions
and DVD players for clinic rooms
$1,500 for the Gift Shop to purchase a PC for the assistant manager
$1,000 for the Pastoral Care Fund
$1,000 for the Social Work Meal Fund
The volunteers at Children’s Hospital are dedicated to providingcompassionate assistance throughout the hospital as well as financialsupport to various projects, departments and activities.
by Logan Clark, student intern
Special thanks from Children’s Hospital
Children’s Hospital would like to extend thanks to The Pool
Place, Kingston Pike in Knoxville, for once again graciously
allowing us to shoot our cover photo for the Winter 2008 It’s
About Children magazine in their beautiful Christmas store.
The excitement of a prenatal ultrasound is
one of the favorite moments of pregnancy for
many families. But for Becky and Bobby Tarver
of Knoxville, a prenatal ultrasound revealed
something to fear.
It wasn’t the fact that Becky was pregnant
with twins, but rather the fact that one of the
twins had a major heart defect.
Becky’s obstetrician, Dr. Donna Shine,
arranged for Dr. Jeff Jennings, a pediatric
cardiologist at Children’s Hospital, to be present
at a second prenatal ultrasound to examine the
baby with the heart defect. Dr. Jennings told
the Tarvers that he could provide a more firm
diagnosis after the babies’ birth but that he was
certain heart surgery would be required soon after
Dr. Shine also arranged for Becky to have
a planned caesarean section, a week ahead of
her due date, at Fort Sanders Regional Medical
Center so the sick baby, a boy, could be quickly
transported to Children’s Hospital. The two
hospitals, although not affiliated with each other,
are connected by an underground tunnel for the
benefit of patient transport. The Tarvers’ baby boy
would soon join a long list of sick newborns that
have been transported through
the tunnel from Fort Sanders
Regional to Children’s
At the delivery on March
11, 1996, Becky and Robert
welcomed their second and
third children, a girl they
named Marie and a boy they
named Cody. A neonatologist
from Children’s Hospital
was present for the birth and
examined both babies. As
expected, Marie appeared
healthy, but the neonatologist
explained to the Tarvers that
Cody definitely needed to
be transported to Children’s
Hospital immediately. Becky
only saw Cody briefly
through the covering of his
isolette before he was sent
Later a neonatologist
returned to Fort Sanders
Regional to talk with Becky
and explain Cody’s heart
defect more clearly and even
draw a picture to help her
understand the complexities
of the defect, tricuspid atresia. With this defect,
his heart was missing the tricuspid value, so
blood could not flow from the right atrium
to the right ventricle; the right ventricle was
also small and underdeveloped. Dr. Jennings
also came to talk with Becky at Fort Sanders
after Cody stopped breathing in the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit and had to be revived and
put on a ventilator.
The day after his birth, Cody was
transported in Lifeline, Children’s Hospital’s
Neonatal Transport vehicle, to the University of
Tennessee Medical Center for his first surgery.
Just before he was transported, Becky was
able to come from Fort Sanders to Children’s
Hospital through the tunnel to briefly see her
“We had toured Children’s Hospital [before
the birth] and had seen babies in the NICU, but
I still wasn’t prepared for that – to see my baby
with all the tubes connected to him,” Becky
said. “It was overwhelming. I thought, ‘This is
A NICU nurse advised Becky to not be
a “monitor watcher” as some parents are but
rather to focus on her baby. That wasn’t a
problem for Becky – “I couldn’t stop looking at
him,” she said.
“If it wasn’t for the NICU, I don’t think
he’d be here,” Becky added. “They kept him
safe early on – that’s why he’s here today, and I
appreciate that so much.”
Becky and Marie stayed at Fort Sanders
for a few days while Marie was treated for
jaundice. They were still there during Cody’s
first surgery, and they were able to go home the
At UT Hospital, Dr. Jennings performed
a heart catheterization on Cody soon after he
was transported there. The next day, John W.
Mack, Jr., M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at UT
Hospital, performed Cody’s first major surgery.
Dr. Mack went in through Cody’s back and
removed a vein out of his right arm. He made
a shunt to connect the heart to the lungs
so Cody would have adequate blood flow
between those two organs. The procedure was
a temporary fix until Cody was big enough to
have open-heart surgery.
Later, when he was six months old and
again when he was two years old, Cody
underwent open-heart surgeries at Vanderbilt
Children’s Hospital in Nashville. In fourth
grade, he was experiencing some problems,
so he had a corrective heart procedure, again
at Vanderbilt. And every now and then, he
needs to have a heart catheterization, which
the family chooses to have done by the same
cardiothoracic surgeon at Vanderbilt.
Children’s Hospital does not currently
have physicians on staff in this specialty. All
children with problems such as Cody’s must
travel out of the area for certain surgeries
but can have monitoring and maintenance
care provided locally through Dr. Jennings’
practice, Knoxville Pediatric Cardiology, which
also includes pediatric cardiologists Yvonne
Bremer, M.D., and Sumeet Sharma, M.D. For
maintenance care, the Tarvers have chosen to
continue seeing Dr. Jennings.
Cody has regular testing performed at
Children’s Hospital, such as cardiac echos,
blood work, EKGs and chest X-rays. His heart
is enlarged, so regular monitoring is important.
Cody with Dr. Jennings at a holiday party in 2001
While he is doing well,
his future is uncertain –
depending on how his heart
continues to function, he
may eventually need a
He has also had one
Brown, M.D., removed
his tonsils and adenoids several years ago. As
a precaution, Cody was admitted to Children’s
Hospital the night before the surgery so he could
be more carefully monitored due to his heart
problem. Marianne Jennings, Dr. Jennings’ nurse,
checked on Cody during that stay, and he came
through the surgery just fine.
Cody also sees pediatric pulmonologist John
Rogers, M.D., for some lung issues. As part of
his care with Dr. Rogers, Cody has had several
pulmonary function tests and a sleep study at
Now 12 years old, Cody is a seventh grader
at Karns Middle School. He has certain activity
limits to protect his heart and because he tires
easily (his blood oxygen level stays around
85-92, when normal is 100 percent). He cannot
play contact sports such as football, but he plays
other sports (such as baseball and golf) through a
special Challenger league that offers him a chance
to rest as needed.
As a middle schooler, he is at the age where
he gets frustrated with his activity limitations
He wishes he could keep up with Marie, who is a
softball player, and older brother Bob Jr., a 15-year-
old track athlete. But other than with sports, he is not
limited in what he can do. He especially enjoys riding
his motorized dirt bike, because it’s an activity that
doesn’t wear him out.
The Tarvers are active with the Heart to Heart
Support Group through Dr. Jennings’ office. The
group gets together for parties and special events
throughout each year, such as Tennessee Smokies
baseball games and the annual Heart Walk to raise
money for the American Heart Association.
Becky said that early on, Dr. Jennings urged
the Tarvers to raise Cody just like they were raising
their other children. Aside from dealing with Cody’s
limitations, Dr. Jennings advised them to not “keep
Cody in a bubble.” They took that advice seriously
and have encouraged him to pursue his interests
wherever possible and live a relatively normal life.
“Dr. Jennings is so loving with Cody,” Becky
said, adding that she appreciates how Dr. Jennings
talks directly with Cody at his appointments, often
talking more to Cody than to Becky. He also spent a
good deal of time helping Cody cope after the death
of another heart patient who Cody knew.
Becky is thankful to the many doctors and staff
who Cody has encountered throughout Children’s
Hospital because they have helped her son to live a
relatively normal life in spite of a difficult start. To
Becky, the results have been well worth it: “I think
my son’s incredible.”
Newborn Cody Tarver is pictured here in a transport isolette just before being brought from Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center toChildren's Hospital. This is the only glimpse his mother, Becky, had of him in the delivery room before he was transported to Children'sHospital through the underground tunnel connecting the two hospitals.
annual Fantasy of Trees to kick off with
“There’s no business like snow business”
In 2008, the Fantasy of Trees will
showcase a theme of “There’s No Business
Like Snow Business,” highlighted with
whimsical decorations and wintry designs
that celebrate and showcase winter’s
sparkle with the dazzle of glistening
snow, penguins and snowmen at play,
and twinkling snowflakes and lights. In
addition, new children’s activities and
shops will also reflect this year’s theme.
This year marks the 24th
anniversary of the
event, which will take place at the Knoxville
Convention Center November 26-30.
Fantasy of Trees visitors can roam
through a magical forest of more than
300 beautifully decorated trees, holiday
accessories, room scenes, door designs,
Trees of Faith and “Adopt-A-Trees,”
created and decorated by local school
children. Guests can also stroll through
the Gingerbread Village and enjoy
scrumptious creations by area bakers,
chefs and local students.
Each day entertainers from throughout
East Tennessee will showcase their talents
onstage at the Fantasy Theater. Visitors can
also shop at the Holiday Marketplace for
clothing, holiday accessories and decorations
for the home and gift-giving.
An event for all families, Fantasy of
Trees offers fun and interactive activities for
children of all ages, including favorites like
the beautiful 30-horse carousel and visits
with Santa. This year, Fantasy of Trees has
a number of new events catering to children,
such as a magical new ride, “Tubs of Fun,”
and “Create A Snowman,” where children
can create a special snowman in “3-D.”
Thanks to Target Stores of Knoxville,
Fantasy visitors will once again have a
chance to win a beautifully decorated seven-
foot tree with all
the trimmings or
one of five second
place prizes of $500
The raffle tree will
by a variety
goodies and much
more. Raffle tickets
are only $5 each
and will be available
at the Fantasy of
November 26, at 9
a.m. Tickets will be
sold throughout the
five-day event, ending
at 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 30. Winners
will be drawn at random immediately after
ticket selling ends.
At the Giving Tree, sponsored by Comcast
and East Tennessee Chrysler/Jeep Dealers,
families will be able to make donations to
“purchase” various items like Popsicles,
stuffed animals and diapers for premature
infants to show a sick child they care. All
participants will receive a paper ornament
for their own tree to signify their holiday
Special events at the
Fantasy of Trees include:
Gala Preview Party
Tuesday, November 25, 7-11 p.m.
Come get a first look at the
season’s most anticipated holiday
event. This is a wonderful
opportunity to enjoy great food,
dancing, shopping in the Holiday
Marketplace, and previewing
and purchasing designer trees
and holiday accessories. Tickets
are $150 per person and $50 per
child ages 4-12 and should be
purchased in advance. The attire
is black-tie optional. For more
information and to purchase
tickets, call the Volunteer
Services and Resources
Department at (865) 541-8136.
The Gala is sponsored by the
Cazana Family and Commercial
and Investment Properties
Tinsel Time for Moms & Tots
Wednesday, November 26, 9 a.m.-noon
Moms and toddlers will have a chance to enjoy
special activities together at this new event for
2008. There will be important safety information
for moms and fun and easy crafts for the tots,
including stroller decorations. Moms attending
with a child age 4 or under receive half price
admission when they arrive during this event from
9 a.m. – noon (not valid with any other discount
coupons on Wednesday). This event is sponsored
by knoxmoms.com, MARSH, Shoney’s and Safe
Kids of the Greater Knox Area.
Holiday edition of
“Live at Five at Four”
Wednesday, November 26, 4-5 p.m.
Watch WBIR-TV Channel 10’s “Live at Five
at Four” broadcast live from the 24th annual
Fantasy of Trees at the Knoxville Convention
Center! Join show hosts Beth Haynes and Russell
Biven as they showcase designer trees in styles
ranging from unique to traditional, take viewers
on a tour looking at this year’s event theme
“There’s No Business Like Snow Business,”
highlight what’s new and share the spirit of
the season from East Tennessee’s premiere
Babes in Toyland Parade
Wednesday, November 26, 7 p.m.
Don’t miss the first and only indoor holiday
parade of the season as children from area child
care centers show off their colorful costumes
while parading to the sounds of the Powell High
School marching band. The parade will feature
costumed characters including Shoney Bear,
entertainers from Dollywood and a grand finale
featuring Santa Claus. This fun parade will be
broadcast live on WVLT-TV Volunteer News from
7-7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by Dollywood.
Santa’s Senior Stroll
Friday, November 29, 9 a.m. – noon
This special event encourages seniors to stroll
through the splendor and sparkle of this year’s
holiday show as well as receive information on
health topics of interest from sponsor Mercy
Health Partners. Best of all, seniors 55 and older
get a half-price admission of $5 to enjoy all of the
2008 Fantasy of Trees
Major Event Sponsors
Fantasy of Trees when they arrive during Santa’s Senior Stroll from 9 a.m. to
noon. (This discount cannot be combined with any other discounts.)
Kris Kringle’s Kiddie Party
Friday, November 28, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Bring out your little ones for the popular Kris Kringle’s Kiddie Party!
Children will enjoy activities and interactive musical entertainment, have
pictures made with Shoney Bear and receive a goody bag at this free event
just for pre-schoolers. Seating is limited, so free tickets are handed out the
day of the event at the Fantasy Theater area. This party is sponsored by
Knoxville Pediatric Associates and U.S. Cellular®.
The funds from this year’s Fantasy of Trees will be used to purchase
equipment for the hospital’s inpatient units, Surgery and Radiology; over the
past 23 years, this holiday event has raised more than $4.6 million for the
hospital. Fantasy of Trees has hosted more than 1 million people since 1985.
This holiday event would not be possible without thousands of volunteers
and their contribution of more than 155,000 volunteer hours to make Fantasy
of Trees a reality this year. Children’s Hospital would like to thank everyone
who makes this event a success, ensuring Children’s Hospital can continue to
provide the best in pediatric health care to the children of this region.
the 2008 Fantasy
of Trees, visit
fantasy.cfm or call
November 29 – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
November 30 – Noon to 6 p.m.
Adults: $10; Children 4-12: $5
Children under 4: Free
November 26 – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
November 27 – 3 to 9 p.m.
November 28, and
2008 Fantasy of Trees assistant co-chair Jody Cusick and co-chairs
Sarah Munsey and Sarah Beth Carlon (left to right)
by Christie Sithiphone,
Age – 33
Family – Wife, Annah Courts; children,
Brighton (9) and Ashton (4)
Name of Pediatric Practice – Loudon Pediatric
Personal Interests – church, family, snow
skiing and football
Academic Background/Prior Experience
B.S.. – University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1998
M.D. – Marshall University, Huntington, W.V., 2005
Internship and Residency – University of
Age – 41
Family – Wife, Barbara Summers Blevins;
son, William (3)
Name of Pediatric Practice – Knoxville
Personal Interests – fly fishing, hiking
Academic Background/Prior Experience
B.S.. – Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., 1989
M.D. – University of Alabama School of
Medicine, Birmingham, Ala., 1995
Internship and Residency - Le Bonheur
Children’s Medical Center, Memphis
Above all other specialties, pediatricians just
about always have a smile on their faces. Kids
are fun … and most of them are even when
they are sick. People often say that children are
our future, but I want to be a part of who they
Greatest Influence –
My parents: my dad for teaching me work ethic
and motivation, and my mom for teaching me
patience, tolerance and acceptance.
You only get one chance with your children.
Do all you can to not mess it up.
Proudest Moment as a Pediatrician –
One single proud moment doesn’t come to
mind, but it puts a smile on my face whenever
I see a new child who was referred to me after
speaking with a satisfied family.
I can really relate to my patients because I
am a big kid at heart.
Greatest Influence –
My twin sister was my greatest influence
leading me into medicine. My wife continues
to be my greatest influence daily.
I always strive to give the finest,
compassionate medical care to my patients.
Proudest Moment as a Pediatrician –
My proudest moments are when I feel I have
become a part of my patients’ families.
Marc Courts, M.D.
Cameron Blevins, M.D.
enhanced to better help
families stay in touch
Children’s Hospital continues to offer
an innovative service for families that have
children with chronic or serious illnesses
and injuries. Called CarePages, the Internet-
based communications system offers an
opportunity for families to create simple
web pages about a sick or injured relative
who is a patient at Children’s Hospital.
CarePages recently introduced
significant improvements to its service,
including better navigation, an easier login
and registration process, a new look and
feel, and several new add-on features and
tools for users.
CarePages offers patient web pages
that help relieve stress and anxiety for
Children’s Hospital patients and families
by making it easy for them to stay in touch
during a hospital stay or any time the child
is receiving medical care. The service
provides a way to update relatives and
friends without the need for repeated phone
calls or e-mails. CarePages also makes it
possible for relatives and friends to send
messages of encouragement. A patient’s
CarePage can be created in less than five
minutes, and then it can be updated as
often as the family chooses. Guests to the
page can see updates about the patient and
photos any time they access the family’s
CarePages also makes it possible for
families to help the hospital in return.
Through CarePages, patients and families
can recognize staff members who have
provided superior levels of care.
Children’s Hospital’s CarePages
can be accessed through computers in
the hospital’s Family Resource Center,
in a patient family’s home or from any
computer by visiting www.etch.com.
CarePages are password-protected,
secure and in compliance with all patient
The CarePages service is offered free
to Children’s Hospital patient families,
thanks to funds raised by the annual Star
102.1 Radiothon. Children’s Hospital is
grateful to Star 102.1 for their continuing
support of this important service for our
Children’s Hospital’s new vision statement is “Leading
the Way to Healthy Children.” In this new series in It’s About
Children magazine, we will share with our readers some of
the many ways we are “Leading the Way.” We will highlight
outstanding practices by Children’s Hospital departments – things
that are, although quite commonplace at our pediatric medical
center, actually rather unique. This series will showcase the
exceptional work done at Children’s Hospital and demonstrate
how the hospital is a great place to work.
“Out of Harm’s Way: A Closer Look
at Disaster Preparedness”
First was September 11, 2001. Then came Hurricane Katrina.
And pandemic flu fears continue. Two major disasters that did
happen in the U.S. and one that could happen have required
health care professionals to become increasingly familiar with
The Respiratory Care Department at Children’s Hospital
focused on the basics of disaster preparation at its recent annual
conference. “Out of Harm’s Way: A Closer Look at Disaster
Preparedness” was the theme for the ninth annual Respiratory
Care Professional Dynamics Seminar, which took place
September 10 in Knoxville.
According to Shelia Ware, Director of Respiratory Care at
Children’s Hospital, this year’s seminar date was not chosen
by chance – it was the day before 9/11, the date of one of the
key disasters in U.S. history. Because of the topic, the seminar
targeted ALL emergency planners in the region, not just
respiratory care professionals and not just Children’s Hospital
What is exceptional about this is that the Respiratory Care
Department worked independently and voluntarily to put the
conference together, open it to regional emergency planners, and
recruit high-profile speakers – the department was not responding
to upper management requests for such a time-consuming and
“We wanted to put things on a practical level with real-world
applications,” Ware said. “For example, what would you do if
your medical records were four feet under water? Or what does
it feel like to have no choice but to evacuate your high-acuity
patients on ventilators? How do you flush toilets if you have no
water? Where do you safely place generators?”
The workshop featured speakers who have been through
disasters, giving them the experience to discuss everyday
procedures, ethics and other issues that they experienced and
learned from. Speakers included:
Don Birou –• a Hurricane Katrina veteran; captain for
the special operations team with the New Orleans Fire
Department with more than 43 years of experience in the
areas of fire fighting and special operations; coordinator
for hazardous materials (Haz/Mat) and weapons of mass
destruction (WMD) response teams for major events in
New Orleans (including Mardi Gras and Super Bowl
XXXVI); consultant with the Department of Homeland
Security; and a U.S. Navy veteran.
William L. Gill, M.D. –• a Hurricane Katrina veteran;
Medical Director for the Level III-Regional Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Tulane Hospital for
Children; former Co-Medical Director of the Level III
NICU at MCLNO-University Hospital (Charity) prior
to Hurricane Katrina; fellowship trained in clinical
neonatology and board certified in both pediatrics and
neonatal-perinatal medicine; professor of clinical pediatrics
at the Tulane School of Medicine; and U.S. Navy retiree.
Jan Glarum –• A counterterrorism/disaster
consultant, instructor and speaker in support of civilian
and military operations nationally and internationally;
co-developer of the Pandemic Influenza Planning
and Preparedness Course taught at the Center for
Domestic Preparedness; 28 years of experience in
the fields of response, planning, assessment and
training; and co-author of two books and one field
guide on preparedness.
Birou spoke on the disruption of hospital operations
during a disaster, while Dr. Gill shared his NICU experiences
at Tulane during Hurricane Katrina. Glarum discussed the
National Incident Management System and predicting a
pandemic flu in the Knoxville area. Glarum also stressed
using smaller, frequent events such as seasonal influenza as
“practice” for a larger event; by putting measures in place
now, hospitals can be better prepared, Ware said.
Birou’s experience during Katrina was overwhelmingly
horrific, and he shared sometimes graphic examples observed
as he worked 24/7 from August 28 to December 16 with only
seven days off.
Gill spoke following Birou, describing a successful
NICU evacuation conducted in record time with no bad
outcomes for the babies. Gill talked about finding resources
from some of the most unlikely places, such as the father of
a cancer patient at the hospital who also happened to be a
pilot who served as a link to help get pilots and helicopters to
aid in the evacuation. The contrast in the two men’s Katrina
experiences was powerful and educational, Ware said.
Close to 100 health care professionals attended the
conference. About half of those were Children’s Hospital
staff, while the other half represented a number of hospitals
and organizations in the region.
Ware said conversations started immediately after the
conference’s conclusion as to things Children’s Hospital can
and should do to be better prepared for a disaster. “Small
changes were implemented beginning the next morning,”
she said. “The conversations showed the depth of planning
already here but also helped us to challenge each other.”
“Respiratory Care’s focus on emergency training will
now be different as a result of this day,” Ware said. “Dr. Gill’s
experience with a highly functioning team who knew what
they had to do, in spite of the most challenging circumstances
imaginable, did some amazing things. We want to provide
our staff with the training on how we’d respond to local
threats with hopefully that same degree of certainty and
courage. Respiratory Care is remodeling our required three-
hour disaster training class with those elements in mind.”
In follow-up emails to Ware, the speakers praised
“What a wonderful day!!” Dr. Gill wrote. “I was as
inspired as everyone else. The program fit together so very
well, and the messages came across loud and clear. Thanks so
much for letting me be a part of it.”
“It was my pleasure to present and meet the wonderful
people from the Knoxville area,” Birou wrote. “I’m pleased
to hear that positive changes are occurring that will assist the
hospital staff and responders in preparing and responding to a
major event. It was a privilege to present to such a wonderful
group of people; I believe virtually everyone in the room
thanked me at one point or another and talked with me on a
personal level as if we were old friends.”
Leading the Way to Healthy Children
the growing childhood obesity epidemic. He
also championed a major emphasis on pain
management and a less-invasive pediatric
“I have continually been impressed with
his dedication to our medical center,” said Bob
Koppel, President/CEO Emeritus of Children’s
Hospital. “He was a great asset to the Board
of Directors and served with distinction in the
position of Chairman for eight years.”
On behalf of
Star 102.1 radio,
for Journal Broadcast Group (the parent company
for Star 102.1) accepted the radio station’s award
for Community Service by a radio/television
station on October 3 at the THA conference
luncheon. This award is given to a broadcast
organization that has demonstrated leadership
in their local
works year round
to support the
children, and the
station has been fully committed to making life
better for its customers, clients, listeners and the
general public. The station provides exceptional
coverage of health care issues related to children
and does an excellent job promoting services and
fundraisers that support Children’s Hospital and
other charitable organizations in the Knoxville
The Star 102.1 Radiothon, a major annual
fund-raising event, directly benefits Children’s
Hospital’s Home Health Care and provides the
funding for the hospital’s CarePages service.
Through the hard work and dedication of the
radio station’s management, staff and on-air
personalities, the event has grown each year.
Radiothon reached the $1 million mark quicker
than any fundraiser that benefits Children’s.
The radio station is not limited to the
Radiothon in terms of community service time
and efforts. On-air personalities Marc, Kim and
Frank make personal appearances at Children’s
Hospital in the months after the fund-raising
event to deliver teddy bears purchased through
contributions during Radiothon. In addition,
the radio station is a major media sponsor of
two other Children’s Hospital fundraisers,
“Jammin’ In Your Jammies” and the University
of Tennessee’s Dance Marathon. In the summer,
Star 102.1 helps sponsor Shoney’s Restaurants
KidCare ID program, a program supported by
Laura Barnes was recognized at the THA
conference luncheon for Nurse of Distinction
as an Executive on October 3. This award
identifies individuals with outstanding
contributions to nursing by registered nurses
employed at a THA member hospital, health
system or home health agency.
Barnes began her career at Children’s
Hospital in April 1974 as a Pediatric Intensive
Care Unit staff nurse. Since then, she has
served in numerous positions, including Head
Nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing Services,
Child Life Coordinator, Director of Children’s
Home Health Care, Director of Child Health
Education and Nursing Director of Critical
In her current position as Vice President
of Patient Care Services, Barnes oversees
the supervision of all the hospital’s nursing
units (Emergency Department, Neonatal and
Pediatric Intensive Care, Outpatient Clinics,
Inpatient Services and Surgery), as well as
the hospital’s Rehabilitation Center and the
departments of Quality Management, Social
Work, Child Life, Pastoral Care, Infection
Control and Home Health Care.
Barnes’s responsibilities also include
managing the budget and financial viability for
many clinical areas. When she joined the staff
as a nurse in 1974, patients made approximately
25,000 visits to the hospital annually. In the
2007-2008 fiscal year, patients made more than
155,000 visits to Children’s Hospital.
Perhaps one of Barnes’s most noteworthy
contributions is that she always takes time to
work with individual staff members on how
they can better serve patients and encourage
innovative approaches to enhance patient
and family experiences – both medically
by Christie Sithiphone, student intern
On its 70th
anniversary, the Tennessee Hospital
Association (THA) recognized Jim Bush, recently
retired Chairman of the Board of Directors; Laura
Barnes, Vice President of Patient Care Services;
and Star 102.1, sponsor for Children’s Hospital’s
Radiothon, for three awards that were presented at
its annual meeting October 1-3.
THA’s annual awards program recognizes
individuals and organizations who have made a
contribution to the goals of the association or one
or more of its institutional members. Honorees are
selected by an anonymous group of THA members.
“Children’s Hospital was honored to nominate
Jim Bush, Laura Barnes and Star 102.1 for
THA awards, and we are delighted they were all
named recipients this year,” said Keith Goodwin,
President/CEO of Children’s Hospital. “The long-
term dedication of Jim to the Board of Directors
and Laura to the hospital’s nursing staff have
been absolutely vital to the hospital’s growth and
expansion over the years. And support from Star
102.1 has provided key funds to help Children’s
Hospital provide the best care to children in East
Tennessee and the surrounding areas.
“We extend our congratulations and our thanks
to Jim, Laura and the staff of Star 102.1 for all their
support to the hospital,” Goodwin said.
Jim Bush accepted his award for Meritorious
Service by a Board Member on October 2 at the
THA Trustees Luncheon. This award recognizes
leadership and service by individuals in support of
THA member hospitals, health systems and home
as Chairman of
Hospital Board of
Directors in June
2007. For more
than two decades,
Bush played an
in the growth
and expansion of
and its many services. The hospital undertook its
largest construction and renovation project in the
institution’s history under Bush’s leadership. The
expansion increased the hospital’s licensed beds
from 122 to 152 and renovated an additional 72,000
square feet of existing space.
Bush most recently supported the establishment
of the new Weight Management Clinic to help
Children’s Hospital staff, supporters recognized at annual THA Awards Banquet
Integrated operating rooms:
the new standard
in quality surgical care
Helping zoo babies
Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the local
community, and sometimes that means helping an
organization that is very different from our own – such as
Several years ago, Children’s Hospital donated some
isolettes to the zoo for use with animal babies. The isolettes
had been used in the Haslam Family Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit for premature and sick infants. They still worked
but featured outdated technology and no longer were
suitable for use at Children’s Hospital.
However, the isolettes were perfect for the zoo, which
gratefully accepted the donation to help its ever-growing
population of animal babies.
Most recently, the isolettes were used in the summer
of 2008 in the care of two red panda cubs at the Knoxville
Zoo, Henry Ford and Samuel. Henry Ford, the red panda
pictured here on July 30 in one of the isolettes, was born
June 16 at the Detroit Zoo (which explains his name),
while Samuel was born this summer at the Knoxville Zoo.
Both red panda cubs are being hand-raised by animal
keepers, and during their earliest weeks, they spent time in
“The isolettes donated by Children’s Hospital provide
a stable environment that allows the veterinary team and
keepers to closely monitor infants and small animals under
critical care,” said Sherrie Burr, Knoxville Zoo animal
health clinic curator. “We use them to control temperature,
humidity and even noise levels. They also allow us to
control and limit movement of animals to avoid potential
“We find that animal infants seem to be more
comfortable in a setting where they feel secure, and the
isolettes provide that special environment,” Burr added.
Henry and Samuel are now thriving and growing in
their new home at The Boyd Family Red Panda Village
at Knoxville Zoo and no longer require the use of the
isolettes. Visit the Knoxville Zoo soon to see these healthy
red panda cubs and the zoo’s many other animals.
As modern medicine continues to advance, medical care
providers strive to stay up-to-date with the latest developments. Only
by implementing the newest technologies and innovative procedures
can hospitals continue to provide the highest quality care.
Integrated operating rooms are recent additions to Children’s
Hospital. These top-of-the-line surgical rooms feature high definition
cameras as well as mounted equipment, which allows for easier
navigation in the OR by reducing clutter. Special surgical equipment
designed specifically for small bodies makes Children’s Hospital’s
new operating rooms friendlier to young patients. With the integrated
ORs, surgeons at Children’s Hospital can enhance their ability to
perform less invasive surgical techniques, such as laparoscopic
procedures, which offers patients a shorter recovery time.
“The benefit I see in these ORs is the fact that we can now take
even greater advantage of two driving forces in modern medicine –
technology and minimally invasive surgery,” said pediatric surgeon
Alfred Kennedy, M.D., who was instrumental in the process of adding
the integrated ORs.
In addition to providing better care for almost 11,000 surgery
patients annually, the new integrated ORs simplify the work of
surgeons, pediatric anesthesiologists and nurses, allowing them to
focus more on monitoring patients than transporting equipment in and
out of the room. Medical personnel also have the ability to analyze
X-rays at the operating table, and all equipment is centrally controlled,
which further increases efficiency.
Children’s Hospital’s budget for the renovation was more than
$1 million. Hospital fundraisers such as Fantasy of Trees and the
Children’s Miracle Network telethon helped raise the money to make
the integrated operating rooms a reality. Children’s Hospital also
received a governmental grant of $292,000 to assist with funding.
by Logan Clark, student intern
tuck them in at night with the same type of song
or prayer that you would choose?
Perhaps your parents or your spouse’s
parents, a married brother or sister, or even a
close friend would be best suited to raise your
children. Would you really want your family and
possibly friends in court fighting over custody of
your children because you failed to plan?
Do you have enough life insurance and
other assets to support your children until they
are grown, educated and on their own? Perhaps
you would want the people who are raising your
children to also be in charge of the funds you
would leave for their support. But you might
prefer to have a separate individual or a trust
company manage the money for them.
“Why do we need a will? If something happened
to both of us, wouldn’t Mom and Dad get the kids?”
The answer to this question is, “Not necessarily.”
The fact is that your state has a plan for taking
care of your children and for distributing all that you
have accumulated during your lifetime should you
decide not to make a will. But their plan may be very
different from yours.
Our lawmakers simply cannot know the
preferences of each person; they have to write one
law that applies to all. As hard as our judges might
try, they must base their decisions on those laws if
you fail to give other instructions. If you fail to do
a will, you are not leaving any instructions about
the custody of your children or how they are to be
raised. You are allowing the legislature, via the laws
they have written, and the courts, via their
interpretation of those laws, to determine the
custody of your minor children, should such
an unfortunate need ever arise.
If you were choosing a person to care
for your children, you would probably look
at many different factors. Who raises their
children the way you are raising yours?
Who has religious beliefs that are closest
to yours? Who has a large enough home?
Who is in good health? Who would treat
them the way you would? Who would take
them to baseball games, ballet lessons,
soccer practice, swim meets, school plays
or whatever activities they are interested in?
Who would take photographs to document
all these important events? And who would
Whatever you answered to the questions
here, a properly prepared will is the ONLY way
to assure that your wishes are carried out. For
more information on wills and estate planning,
including a copy of our booklet, “Personal
Information Record,” please send your name and
address to us via the reply form below. Or you
may email one of us or call us at (865) 541-8244
if you prefer. And thank you for your interest in
the children entrusted to our care.
• David Rule, Director of Development,
• Teresa Goddard, CFRE, Senior Development
• Joe Brandenburg, Major Gifts Officer,
Because your children are precious, a will is vital
Include Children’s Hospital in your estate plans.
Join the ABC Club. For more information, call (865) 541-8441.
Please send the FREE planning booklet, “Personal Information Record.”
City___________________________ State_______ Zip_____________ Phone (______) ___________________________
r Please call me at the phone number below for a free confidential consultation concerning planned giving.
r Please send me more information about deferred giving.
r I have already included Children’s Hospital in my estate plan in the following way:
r Please send me information about the ABC Club.
Children’s Hospital Development Office • (865) 541-8441
The state of Tennessee has given Children’s Hospital an extension through
2008 to increase its number of specialty license plates. The hospital is
required to maintain a minimum of 1,000 tags to keep the plate in effect, but
as of press time, the hospital was still slightly below the required minimum.
With your help, there is still an opportunity to do more for the children the
hospital serves by enhancing your car with an
attractive Children’s Hospital plate. But most
importantly, you can help make Children’s
Hospital an even better place for area children.
The specialty license plate has been a labor
of love from the beginning. After Children’s
Hospital applied to the legislature in 2002 and
received approval, Morris Creative Group in
Knoxville donated their artists’ time to prepare
the plate’s design. Volunteers stuffed mailings to
help sell the initial 1,000 plates. Since the plate
first became available, Children’s Hospital has
In an effort to increase sales, Children’s Hospital sought help from an
advertising class at the University of Tennessee. “We need fresh, innovative
ways to market the license plate as a fundraiser in the East Tennessee community,”
Amanda Armstrong, Director of Annual Giving for Children’s Hospital, said. After
conducting research, students proposed various ideas for spreading the word about
helping the hospital through license plate purchases. Several of their ideas have
been put into effect, including featuring banner ads on the website of WBIR-TV
Channel 10 and designing kid-friendly ways to track
sales at pediatrician offices.
The plate is available at any time through your
local County Clerk’s office, and the cost of the
plate is $35 in addition to each county’s renewal
fee. Children’s Hospital receives nearly $16 from
each plate sold. Simply drive to your local county
clerk’s office, take in the plate from your car and
your registration, and tell them you would like a
Children’s Hospital plate.
Purchasing a license plate is an easy way to
support the hospital. Please consider renewing your
Children’s Hospital plate each year and encouraging friends and family to join you.
If you have questions about the specialty license plate, contact your local
County Clerk’s office or the hospital’s Development Department at (865) 541-8441.
by Logan Clark, student intern
License plate deadline extended; purchasers can still help area families
to benefit CHILDREN’S
calendar of events
Mark your calendars now for several
upcoming events to entertain families
and benefit Children’s Hospital. Thanks to
the generous people of East Tennessee
who host and participate in these events,
Children’s Hospital can continue to provide
the best pediatric health care to the
children of this region.
Artist Joyce Simms Designs Card
for Both Children and Adults
Joyce Simms has always enjoyed drawing
and doing creative projects. While obtaining a
degree in music, she also took art and interior
design classes at Florida State University and at
the University of Tennessee. Currently, she has
a shop, The Painted Pig, at Knoxville’s Southern
Market and works as an interior designer and
Simms has been a volunteer with Children’s
Hospital’s Fantasy of Trees for the past two
years. Because of her involvement in the annual
holiday event, Simms was asked to do artwork
for this year’s Children’s Hospital Volunteers’
annual holiday greeting card sale.
After looking at the cards sold in the past,
Simms came up with the concept of featuring
Jammin’ In Your Jammies
It’s that time of year again for families to get
comfortable and put on their favorite pajamas for a
weekend of wintertime fun. This year’s “Jammin’
In Your Jammies” event will take place January
30 through February 1 at the Holiday Inn Select at
Registration includes a one-night hotel room
stay, dinner, snacks, breakfast and all activities and
entertainment. In the evening, families have many
activities to choose from, such as swimming in the
indoor pool, playing games, participating in a
pajama contest or dancing to music provided by
Star 102.1 radio.
A family of four can enjoy an overnight stay
for $130, and additional guests are $30 per person.
mice for this
that would be
appealing to both children and adults, like
cards from previous years featuring snowmen
and other animals. Inside this year’s card, she
included the sentiment, “Warmest Thoughts for
This Holiday Season.”
“Being asked to do artwork for the Children’s
Hospital holiday card has been an honor and a
challenge,” Simms said. “It is truly wonderful to
be involved in such a special project.”
Cards are $7.50 for boxes of 10 cards or may
be purchased individually starting at 75 cents per
Families have the option of registering at 5 p.m.
Friday and concluding their stay with a Saturday
morning brunch OR registering at 5 p.m. Saturday
and ending with a Sunday morning brunch.
All proceeds from this event benefit the
Children’s Hospital Child Life Department.
This is a Committee for the Future signature
event and is sponsored by All Occasions Party
Rentals, DeRoyal, and Star 102.1 radio. For more
information or to register, call the Children’s
Hospital Development Office at (865) 541-8608.
UT Dance Marathon
On February 20-21 students at the University
of Tennessee will be dancing the night away
for Children’s Hospital Hematology/Oncology
patients. The event will take place at the Tennessee
Recreational Center for Students (TRECS) on
UT’s campus from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Activities throughout the night will include
live music from local bands, a children’s carnival
for Hematology/Oncology patients and an
opportunity for the patients to throw pies at some
Children’s Hospital staff members. UT students
will also learn a Dance Marathon dance to perform
at the end of the 14-hour celebration.
Dance Marathon is the largest student-run
philanthropy in the country, with more than 80
colleges and universities “dancing” for children’s
hospitals in their areas. Last year’s Dance
Marathon at UT raised $91,000 for Children’s
card for 25-299 cards, 70 cents per card for
300-599 cards, 65 cents per card for 600-899
cards and 60 cents per card for 900 or more
cards. All cards help raise funds to provide
special services for children and their families.
For more information on how to order
the holiday greeting cards, please contact the
Children’s Hospital Volunteer Services office at
(865) 541-8136 or email email@example.com.
by Christie Sithiphone, student intern
Hospital Hematology/Oncology Clinic.
For more information, call the Children’s
Hospital Development Office at (865) 541-8745.
Cutest Little Baby Face
annual “Cutest Little Baby
Face” contest will begin March 7-8 at Belz
Outlet in Pigeon Forge. The contest is open to
children ages 6 and younger, with Gary Woods
Photography in Sevierville taking photos of the
The entry fee for preregistration is $5, and
registration at the event is $7. The fee includes
a 5x7 portrait of the participating child, a T-shirt
and goody bag. Pictures will be taken on March
7 and 8 and will be posted for voting on March
20 and 21 at Belz Outlets.
A $1 donation to Children’s Hospital
will count as 100 votes. The child with the
most votes is named the winner and will be
announced on March 21 during the “Baby
Face Parade.” Last year’s event raised more
Contestants may preregister by completing a
registration form at Belz Outlet or by calling the
Children’s Hospital Development Department at
by Christie Sithiphone, student intern
In an attempt to protect the body, the immune
system of the allergic person produces
antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
Those antibodies then cause mast cells
(allergy cells in the body) to release chemicals,
including histamine, into the bloodstream to
defend against the allergen “invader.”
What is a food allergy reaction like?
Histamine causes symptoms that affect a
person’s eyes, nose, throat, respiratory system,
skin and digestive system. An allergic reaction
can be mild to severe and can occur right
away or within a few hours after eating a
certain food. Some of the first signs can be a
runny nose, an itchy skin rash such as hives
or a tingling in the tongue or lips. Other signs
tightness in the throat•
In the most serious cases, a food allergy
can cause anaphylaxis. This is a sudden,
severe allergic reaction in which several
problems occur all at once; it can involve the
skin, breathing, digestion, the heart and blood
vessels. A person’s blood pressure can drop,
breathing tubes can narrow and the tongue can
swell. People at risk for this kind of reaction
need a plan for handling emergencies, when
they might need to get special medicine to stop
these symptoms from getting worse.
How do I know if my child has a food allergy?
Sometimes it is easy to figure out that a child
has a food allergy. He or she might get hives
or have other problems after eating a certain
food. But sometimes, the source of the problem
is a mystery. Most foods have more than one
ingredient, so if a child has shrimp with peanut
sauce, what is causing the allergy – the peanut
sauce or the shrimp?
Doctors believe allergies may be hereditary,
which means if you or a close relative have
certain allergies like hay fever, your child is
more likely to develop the allergies. Some
children are born allergic to certain foods,
whereas others develop food allergies over
time. This may be due to surroundings or
changes in the body as they grow older.
Many people react to a certain food but are
not actually allergic. For example, people with
lactose intolerance get stomach pain and diarrhea
from milk and other dairy products. That does
not mean they are allergic to milk. They don’t
feel good after drinking milk because their
bodies cannot properly break down the sugars
found in milk.
Q: What will the doctor do?
A: If you think your child may be allergic to a
certain food, schedule a doctor’s visit to get
it checked out. If the doctor thinks your child
might have a food allergy, he or she will probably
suggest that you make an appointment with a
doctor who specializes in allergies. The allergy
specialist will ask you about your child’s past
reactions and how long it takes between eating
the food and getting the symptom, such as hives.
The allergist also may ask about whether anyone
else in your family has allergies or other allergy-
related conditions, such as eczema or asthma.
The allergist may also want to do a skin test.
This is a way of seeing how the body reacts to a
very small amount of the food that is causing the
trouble. The allergist will use a liquid extract of
the food and, possibly, other common allergy-
causing foods to see if you react to any of them.
The doctor will make a little scratch on the
skin and drop a little of the liquid extract on the
scratched spot or spots. Different extracts will
go on the different scratch spots, so the doctor
can see how skin reacts to each substance. A
reddish, raised spot shows an allergy to that food
Q: How are food allergies treated?
A: There is no special medicine for food allergies.
Some can be outgrown, and others a child will
have his or her whole life. The best treatment is
simply to avoid the food itself and any foods or
drinks that contain the food. One way to figure
that out is to read food labels. Any foods that
might cause an allergic reaction will be listed
near or in the ingredient list. Doctors and allergy
organizations also can help by providing lists of
safe foods and unsafe foods. Some people who
are very sensitive may need to avoid foods just
because they are made in the same factory that
also makes their problem food.
Q: What should I do if my child accidentally eats
something he or she is allergic to?
A: Stay calm and follow your emergency plan.
Before a slipup happens, it’s a good idea to create
a plan with a doctor and your child. The plan
Few issues are closer to our hearts or more
crucial to our future than the health of children.
As an abundance of children’s health issues hit the
media spotlight last year, it was a challenge for many
parents to keep track of them all or determine which
matter most. Some strike close to home and involve
things parents do routinely to keep their children safe
and healthy. Others, for now at least, seem to be in
the hands of lawmakers or scientists, far removed
from our immediate lives, yet no less important to
children’s well being.
In 2008, Children’s Hospital has highlighted
eight of these important children’s health issues to
watch. Each issue of It’s About Children this year
focused on two topics. This list was not meant to be
comprehensive, nor does it suggest that other health
issues aren’t also important. But we think these eight
subjects will have a lasting impact on children’s
health well into the future.
Food Allergies: Outlawing PB&J
Why are food allergies a growing problem?
The incidence of food allergies doubled over
the last decade and now affects about three
million school-age children, including one in
every 17 children age 3 or younger. Research
suggests some food allergies are lasting longer
into childhood than in the past. Food allergies
can have far-reaching effects on every aspect
of a family’s home and social life, as parents
try to manage children’s exposure to allergens.
Even children who don’t have food allergies
are affected, facing new restrictions on what
they can eat and bring to daycare, schools,
summer camp and even birthday parties. A recent
federal law required food makers to plainly
state whether their products contain any of the
top food allergens (milk, eggs, fish, crustacean
shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy). The
National Institutes of Health (NIH) identified
food allergies as a public health issue and funded
research to learn what causes them and to
develop options for treatment and prevention.
What is a food allergy?
An allergy is an overreaction of the immune
system to a substance – in this case, a food item –
that is harmless to most people. But in someone
with an allergy, the body’s immune system treats
the substance (called an allergen) as an invader
and reacts inappropriately, resulting in symptoms
that can be anywhere from annoying to possibly
harmful to the person.
part 4 of 4part 4 of 4
‘08‘08Food Allergies: Outlawing PB&J
and Obesity: Beyond the Body
and all contributions are greatly
appreciated no matter how big
or small. Funds raised during the
telethon will be used to purchase
new and sophisticated medical
equipment for a number of hospital
departments. Support from the
community through the telethon
ensures that each child who comes
to Children’s Hospital, now and in
the future, is able to receive the care
he or she needs.
Children’s Hospital is a charter
member of the Children’s Miracle
Network. In 1983, the hospital
participated in the first telethon
that raised nearly $95,500 in East
Tennessee, all of which remained at
Children’s Hospital for the sole benefit
of our patients. Since its origin, the
telethon has raised nearly $29 million
for our pediatric medical center.
Viewers will once again have the
ease of donating to Children’s Hospital
online during the broadcast. Those
watching the broadcast on WBIR-
TV can log on to www.etch.com and
click on “Make A Donation” on the left
side of the home page to make their
For more information about the
Children’s Miracle Network broadcast,
or if you would like to volunteer at the
telethon, call (865) 541-8441 or visit
by Christie Sithiphone,
The beginning of a new
year means it’s time again for the
annual Children’s Miracle Network
Telethon to benefit Children’s Hospital.
2009 marks the 27th
year of the fundraiser. It
will take place on Sunday, January 25, and will
be broadcast live from 3:30 to 11:30 p.m. on
WBIR-TV Channel 10.
Last year’s CMN broadcast raised more than
$1.8 million for Children’s Hospital. Without
the support of people from the region and their
ongoing commitment, Children’s Hospital could
not continue to fulfill its vision of “Leading the
Way to Healthy Children.”
The success of this year’s Children’s Miracle
Network telethon is vital in helping Children’s
Hospital grow. Even in tough economic times,
Children’s Hospital needs support more than ever,
Children’s Miracle Network Telethon
set for January