It's About Children - Fall 2008 Issue by East Tennessee Children's Hospital


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It's About Children - Fall 2008 Issue by East Tennessee Children's Hospital

  1. 1. B o a r d o f D i r e c t o r s Dennis Ragsdale Chairman Jeffory Jennings, M.D. Vice Chairman Michael Crabtree Secretary/Treasurer Debbie Christiansen, M.D. Dawn Ford Keith D. Goodwin Steven Harb Lewis Harris, M.D. Dee Haslam A. David Martin Dugan McLaughlin Christopher Miller, M.D. Steve South Bill Terry, M.D. Laurens Tullock Danni Varlan 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. Secretary 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 President/CEO Bob Koppel President/CEO Emeritus Bruce Anderson Vice President for Legal Services & General Counsel Laura Barnes, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.A.A.,B.C. Vice President for Patient Care Paul Bates Vice President for Human Resources Joe Childs, M.D. Vice President for Medical Services Rudy McKinley 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 Center. Ellen Liston Director of Community Relations David Rule Director of Development Wendy Hames Editor Neil Crosby and Wade Payne Contributing Photographers “Because Children are Special…” ...they deserve the best possible health care given in a positive, child/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 or injury.” ...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 adolescents.” Statement of Philosophy East Tennessee Children’s Hospital www.etch.com2 On the cover: Former Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center patient Mei Thomas. Read her story on pages 4-5. “Dear Children’s” May 5, 2008 Dear Children’s Hospital, We would just like to say how impressed and appreciative we are of the nurses and doctors in the ER and PICU. Our son was two months old when he was admitted on April 1 and was only there for a few days. The care that he received was excellent both in the ER and in the PICU. I have never been to a hospital where every nurse and doctor made us feel like we were the only patients they had. I do not know the lady’s name who was in the ER the night we came in, but I have February 13, 2008 Dear Children’s Hospital, One month ago, my grandson, Devin Campbell, was a patient in the ER for what I suspected to be diabetes. He had the symptoms of excessive thirst and excessive urination. We had an appointment for the Knoxville Pediatric Group for the following week, but Devin became too ill to wait for the office visit. We came to the ER on Saturday night, and I figured we would have to wait; boy, was I wrong!!!! Once he was in triage, we told the nurse the two above listed ­symptoms. Immediately she did a finger stick, and it read HIGH. Before we could get excited, we were in a room, and the lab worker was there within a few minutes, and so was the doctor. Within minutes, we had his blood sugar reading of 1200 and a diagnosis of Type I diabetes. I want to personally thank everyone who was involved with his care because he was not made to wait at any point of his care. His doctors, nurses and all involved treated us like we were the only patients there. I also want to thank the counselors and the diabetic teachers who had my daughter (who is not a nurse, but I am) doing his blood sugar readings and giving his insulin within a couple of days and made her aware of every aspect of things she needed to know to take care of him. He went home the following Tuesday and has been steadily improving since. We are so fortunate to have such a highly trained Children’s Hospital in this area. Keep up the good work, because Devin would not be with us if it were not for the staff and doctors that you have. We never know when something like this will happen, and it is a great comfort knowing that you all were there in our time of need.Bernice Miller A champion loses her hard-fought battle Emily Barger, who was featured on the Summer 2008 cover of this magazine, experienced a relapse of her rare cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, just as the magazine was being mailed out in May. The cancer’s return was rapid and aggressive, and it proved more than Emily’s small body could overcome. She passed away June 24 in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital. She was 7 years old. Earlier this year, Emily was named Tennessee’s representative for the 2008 Champions Across America program through the Children’s Miracle Network. She and her family participated in CMN activities in Orlando, Fla., and Washington, D.C, in March. Emily’s favorite part of the trip was meeting President Bush during a tour of the White House. Emily’s fellow CMN Champions from across the country released balloons in her memory on July 27 at 3 p.m. Eastern time (the time of her interment at the cemetery). Balloons bore a tag reading “In honor of my friend … Emily Barger, Knoxville, Tennessee. Children’s Miracle Network, Champions Across America 2008. RIP June 24, 2008.” On the back of each tag, the Champions listed their name, state, the date and the following statement: “Will the person who finds this balloon honor my friend Emily and make a donation to your local children’s hospital.” We wish to thank the Barger family – parents Brian and Misty and sisters Blair and Megan – for allowing us to share Emily’s story with our readers and with the Children’s Miracle Network, and we extend to them our deepest sympathies. a two-year-old daughter, and she entertained her until our son could be stabilized. I cannot say enough thanks for that. It was above and beyond what I expected. We as a family are truly grateful for Children’s Hospital and will certainly donate anytime we can. Thanks again, The Culbertson Family Knoxville Devin Campbell Charles Culbertson
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  3. 3. Choosing to adopt a child is a very personal decision. For families who decide to go ahead with an adoption, there are certain uncertainties that they must accept as part of the process. One of those is the overall health of the child to be adopted. For Kevin Thomas and Kiki McDonald, adopting a little girl from China did pose this risk, and they were aware of that and accepted the risk. “Agencies do prepare you that there could be issues,” Kiki said. Kevin and Kiki selected the Chinese name Mei (pronounced “May”) while going through the adoption process, but when they were matched with a nine-month-old girl, they discovered – to their surprise – that she had already been named Mei. The name means “little sister” or “beautiful girl” in Chinese. While Kevin was unable to make the trip, Kiki traveled to China in February 2005 to complete the couple’s adoption of Mei, who was by then 13 months old. Kiki spent 18 days in the country as part of the process, traveling with a group of other families who were also adopting Chinese girls through the same adoption agency. The group adopted a total of 11 girls from a single orphanage. Although she was past her first birthday, Mei was small (she wore clothing in size 6 months) and could not sit by herself. Whenever Kiki held her, Mei just let her arms hang at her sides – she didn’t know how to reciprocate and hold on to Kiki. In addition, her leg muscles were weak and one foot turned in too far. Part of the problem was certainly that Mei had been in an orphanage but never in foster care. The orphanage’s limited staff meant Mei did not have a great deal of adult contact but instead spent a good part of her time in a crib or a walker. Some of the other babies had been in foster care, where they had more adult contact; some of them had already learned to walk and were clearly ahead of Mei from the developmental standpoint. So Kevin and Kiki were worried – with good reason – after bringing home their new daughter. At a checkup soon after Mei arrived in Knoxville, pediatrician Lisa Padgett, M.D., with Knoxville Pediatric Associates, noticed that Mei dragged her foot. She referred Mei to the Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center for an evaluation with physical therapist Jan Simpson. “We were really worried about it,” Kevin said. “We thought it might be a birth defect, maybe involving her hip. Jan eased our fears very early.” Thankfully, the problem turned out to be a relatively simple one – Mei’s stomach muscles had not yet developed enough, and this affected her right leg and foot. Kevin took Mei to appointments at the Rehab Center for physical therapy sessions with Jan, with the focus being on strengthening Mei’s torso. Because Kiki was the parent who Mei met first, she had a stronger attachment to her mom. The family quickly learned that if Kiki was at the therapy session, Mei wouldn’t want to do her exercises with Jan. In fact, Mei was still adjusting to her new family and was terrified at all times of being left. So to ensure Mei’s cooperation at therapy, Kevin could be there but Kiki couldn’t be present. Sessions at the center were typically 30 minutes each because Mei would get tired quickly. The Thomases were also worried about Mei’s speech because she didn’t seem to respond to words or make sounds. They requested a speech evaluation, but Jan encouraged them to start with just physical therapy. Jan thought two different types of therapy at the same time might overwhelm Mei, who was in so many ways still adjusting to a new life. But Jan also thought Mei’s speech development might begin to accelerate in conjunction with her motor development through physical therapy – and this is exactly what happened. To supplement sessions at the center, Jan taught Kevin various exercises to do with Mei at home. After two months of intensive therapy, Mei had made great progress in physical therapy as well as with a few speech therapy sessions and was on track developmentally. She was able to stop going to the Rehab Center well before her second birthday. Anne Woodle, Director of the Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center, said Mei is a great example of the work the Rehab Center can do with all types of children, not just those with long-term chronic issues. Some people associate the Rehab Center with caring only for children 4 Mei This picture of Mei, about age 9 months, was sent to the Thomas family during the adoption process; it was their first glimpse of her. Finn and Mei share a laugh a couple months after Mei’s adoption into the Thomas family.
  4. 4. 5 who need extended therapy. But many children, like Mei, only require short-term therapy, which is also readily available at the center. Today, Mei is 4 and a half years old and is developmentally on target or even beyond in all areas. Although she’s too young to start kindergarten this year, she is actually ready to go. (“She loves to play school teacher and do homework,” Kevin said, “She’s very focused.”) Mei participates in gymnastics, has been swimming for about two years and is even diving now. Her favorite things are “to swing and color,” and she loves music and dancing, too. And like all little sisters, she likes to aggravate her big brother, seven-year-old Finn (Kiki said Finn was four years old at the time of Mei’s adoption and “had a lot to adjust to” but the pair get along well now). The family has attended two reunions in Florida with the other families from their adoption group. Kiki said it is interesting to see all the girls as they are growing and changing – they were all from different provinces in China, so they each have their own unique look that becomes more noticeable as they get older. And, Kiki notes happily, none of the 11 little girls have had any lasting medical problems (although Mei was not the only one who experienced some minor issues). Kiki said the time in China and the adjustment with Mei after the trip back to Knoxville was overwhelming at times. There was a 12-hour time difference, so Kiki was physically tired. Then Mei was scared at all the changes she was experiencing and didn’t want to be left alone. Kiki would even have to put Mei in her crib and roll the crib into the hotel bathroom while showering because Mei just needed to see her. In addition, Mei and the other babies had been fed formula almost exclusively, so as they were introduced to solid foods at the hotel, they would actually try to hoard the foods. These issues continued for a while but have slowly gone away as Mei has grown. Kevin is the son of Beckie Thomas, a retired Vice President for Nursing at Children’s Hospital. He essentially grew up with Children’s Hospital and was very familiar with its services. He was so comfortable with the hospital that he had a tonsillectomy at Children’s during his sophomore year of COLLEGE, and he “hated” eventually becoming too old to be a patient at Children’s. So he expected great care for Mei – and he wasn’t disappointed. “It was very personable,” he said. “They make you feel at home. They don’t just ‘act’ like they care – they really do care.” A few months ago, Kevin emailed a photo of Mei to the Rehab Center. He wanted to show Jan and center director Anne Woodle how far Mei had come – the photo was of her doing gymnastics. He explained: “I knew they would want to know how Mei was doing.” Mei and Finn Mei Children’s Hospital continues to support Tennessee’s CoverKids insurance program by hosting enrollment events every few months at various locations. The next event will take place Wednesday, September 3, 5-8 p.m. at the Wal-Mart store near Knoxville Center mall. Anyone who has an uninsured child is invited to attend the event and learn more about how to enroll in the program. The most recent CoverKids event took place at the same Wal-Mart store on July 1. At this event, parents completed 25 CoverKids program applications for a total of 34 children seeking coverage. An additional dozen applications were handed out for families to take home. Dr. Andrea Willis, program director for CoverKids, praised Children’s Hospital for its ongoing efforts to promote the program for the benefit of Tennessee’s children. “I couldn’t be happier with the success of the July 1 event and owe the credit to your team,” Dr. Willis said in a letter to Ellen Liston, Children’s Hospital Director of Community Relations. “Children’s Hospital is our biggest advocate in East Tennessee, and we couldn’t do things like this without your support.” As part of the Cover Tennessee program, CoverKids offers comprehensive health coverage to uninsured children in Tennessee, age 18 and under, and pregnant women. Also, there are no pre-existing condition exclusions for children with already-diagnosed special needs or medical conditions. CoverKids has no monthly premium. Participants pay a co-pay for certain services; the co-pay amount depends on income. Coverage is offered for 12 months. After that, families must re-verify their children’s eligibility. Children must be U.S. citizens or qualified aliens and must be Tennessee residents. They also must have been without insurance for three months (this is waived for newborns up to four months of age and for children moving to CoverKids from TennCare or from another state’s SCHIP program). Maternity care is available for pregnant women, from the date of application until 60 days following the baby’s birth. CoverKids provides comprehensive health insurance with an emphasis on preventive health services and coverage for physician services, hospitals, prescriptions, mental health/substance abuse and more. CoverKids has an emphasis on services children need most, well- baby and well-child visits, and age-appropriate required immunizations. For mental health, CoverKids offers up to 52 visits per year on an outpatient basis and 30 days of inpatient treatment per year. Vision and dental benefits are also included in the CoverKids plan. To learn more about CoverKids insurance or to receive an application, visit or call toll-free 1-866-268-3786. CoverKids offers insurance to Tennessee children
  5. 5. 6 The key to our family-centered care environment is the involvement of parents in processes throughout Children’s Hospital. Since initiating a family-centered care focus in 2002, Children’s Hospital has continued to enhance the initiative through a variety of efforts. This spring, the latest program enhancement was the creation of a Family Advisory Council. Having family members serve in an advisory role allows them to have input and influence on policies, programs and practices affecting the delivery of care and services for children and families. The working purpose for the council is “to serve as a formal mechanism for involving patients and families in policy and program decision-making at Children’s Hospital.” The new Family Advisory Council, which met for the first time in May, is composed of parents of former, current and future patients of our hospital who have been asked to be a part of the council for at least six months and up to two years. At the first meeting, council members brainstormed some of the key topics they identified: wayfinding, accessibility, programming for adolescents, parent to parent, understanding children with special needs and other important issues. Children’s Hospital President/CEO Keith Goodwin said the Family Advisory Council’s beginning is an important component of the hospital’s new strategic plan (see page 7 for information on the new plan). “Family-centered care is emphasized in the hospital’s long- standing Statement of Philosophy and is also reflected in our new Mission Statement and Core Values,” Goodwin said. “Through our new strategic plan, we have made a tremendous commitment to continue in the coming years the Family-Centered Care philosophy that Children’s Hospital embraced several years ago. We are appreciative of the individuals who have committed their time and resources to our first Family Advisory Council, and we look forward to learning from them ways to better Children’s Hospital.” Laura Barnes, Vice President for Patient Care Services, said, “It was an honor to be present for the first meeting of the Family Advisory Council.” Over time, our philosophy has changed from one of ‘we take care of children and their families’ to ‘we collaborate and partner with families to provide the best care for their children.’ “I am pleased to be a part of this new relationship with parents – a group of committed individuals who will give us input on an ongoing basis. The outcome will be a ‘children and families first’ environment and culture,” Barnes continued. “These parents bring a love and respect for Children’s Hospital and the staff who provide care – they bring a passion, suggestions for improvement and a desire to ‘give back’ to Children’s Hospital.” The first group of 15 Family Advisory Council members are Sadia Amer, Missie Bowers, Beth Giecek, Marca Hance, Deb Hill, Tammy Holsenback, Shirley James, Karen Jordan, Krista Kneff, Leigh Anne McAfee, Shannon McKamey, Kevin McMahan, Sandy Patterson, Cathy Shuck-Sparer and Willem van Tol. These parents have had a wide range of experiences at Children’s Hospital, including in the Emergency Department, Pediatric Intensive Care, Neonatal Intensive Care, surgical services, Hematology/ Oncology Clinic, inpatient care, Home Health Care and rehabilitation services. They come with a willingness to learn more about the hospital, give input into hospital plans and processes, and collaborate with the hospital to ensure ongoing improvement in family-centered care. Members of the new Family Advisory Council met again in late June and July and participated in tours of the hospital. The council will meet monthly, and council members will also be invited to participate in other capacities with the hospital such as: Families are at the center of our care Members of committees or task forces• Advisory board members• Program evaluators• Co-trainers for hospital training sessions• Mentors for other patient families• Reviewers of hospital audiovisual and• written materials Participants in needs assessments• processes Advocates for Children’s Hospital• Participants in focus groups• Participants at fund-raising events• Participants in Quality Improvement• initiatives Participants at conferences and meetings • Mary Pegler, Director of Child Life; Joe Childs, Vice President of Medical Services; and Barnes will provide ongoing administrative support to the Family Advisory Council. Children’s Hospital President/CEO Keith Goodwin speaks to members of the Family Advisory Council at their first meeting in May. The new Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council: front row (left to right): Sandy Patterson, Krista Knepp, Willem Van Tol, Shannon McKamey, Sadia Amer, Kevin McMahon; back row: Leigh Anne McAfee, Tammy Holsenback, Karen Jordan, Deb Hill, Cathy Shuck-Sparer and Beth Giecek. Not pictured: Missie Bowers, Marca Hance and Shirley James.
  6. 6. 7 What is family-centered care? Family-centered care is an approach to pediatric health care that focuses on the family as a child’s primary source of strength and support. The philosophy shapes policies, programs, facility design and staff day-to-day practices. It is visible in large and small ways throughout hospitals that adopt the approach. Information sharing and collaboration between families and staff are the cornerstones of family-centered care. Family-centered health care professionals recognize the vital role families play in ensuring the health and well being of infants, children, adolescents and family members of all ages. They acknowledge emotional, social and developmental support are integral components of health care. With this approach, family-centered care: empowers families and fosters independence;• supports family caregiving and decision making;• respects family choices;• builds on family strengths• involves families in all aspects of the planning,• delivery and evaluation of health care services. The key principles of family-centered care: People are treated with dignity and respect.• Health care providers communicate and share• complete and unbiased information with families in ways that are affirming and useful. Individuals and families build on their strengths• by participating in experiences that enhance control and independence. Families first In keeping with our “families first” mission, Children’s Hospital staff are trained to understand and practice family-centered care. In June, the hospital welcomed Julie L. Bacon, R.N., a nationally recognized speaker on family- centered care. Bacon presented several employee in-service programs during her visit; about 200 hospital employees representing more than 20 hospital departments attended the sessions. Bacon fills her presentations with humor and gives extensive illustrations from her personal and professional lives – she is a neonatal and flight nurse, a former law enforcement professional and mother to a premature infant who had chronic health issues through childhood (he is now a healthy adult). The presentation served as an introduction for newer staff and a refresher for more long-term hospital employees. Bacon discussed the concept of family- centered care and provided definitions for key terms. She also educated staff in techniques they can use to enhance family-centered care at Children’s Hospital. One important thing to understand, Bacon reminded staff, is that “family” refers to two or more persons who are related in any way – biologically, legally or emotionally. Each individual group defines “family” in its own way. Children deserve nothing but the very best, and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has been working to give children the very best health care for more than 70 years. To continue providing the best into the next 70 years – and beyond – the hospital has developed a new vision: “Leading the Way to Healthy Children.” The new vision statement is one result of the hospital’s recent strategic planning process, begun in fall 2007 and completed in spring 2008. A project of the Children’s Hospital Board of Directors and Administration, the new five-year strategic plan defines the hospital’s path into the future. Children’s Hospital’s challenge to ensure the next generation of children can have a better opportunity for a healthy future than the previous generation was to determine the following: How to best help sick and injured children?• How to prevent sickness and injury?• How to ensure the right talent is available?• How to afford all that needs to be done?• How to continue to be the community asset the• hospital needs to be? The process included an analysis of past performance as well as growth projections for East Tennessee. In addition to the hospital’s Board of Directors and Administration, the process also included gathering input from hospital senior management staff and employees, physicians and community leaders. Based on these efforts, assumptions about the future that support planning priorities were developed. The strategic plan includes 10 major areas of focus or strategic initiatives, each with a separate list of specific goals and desired outcomes. The strategic initiatives include: Quality/safe care –• patient care and quality will be our number one priority. Physician recruitment and alignment –• the hospital will make decisions to ensure clinical, educational, research, advocacy and cultural needs for the medical staff continue to be successfully addressed. Financial discipline –• the hospital will maintain its financial strength in service of its mission, while retaining its independence as a hospital only for children. Regionalized care –• the hospital will improve the health and well-being of children by providing programs that combine treatment with prevention and education, while forging collaborations with community partners and empowering families with knowledge and tools to manage disease and prevent injury. Technology –• the hospital will adopt technologies that improve patient care, provide educational resources and enable effective and efficient assembly and dissemination of information. Talent –• Children’s Hospital will recruit the best and brightest people who want to excel as individuals and in teams; in addition, the hospital will be the workplace of choice by fostering an environment that is respectful and supportive. Education –• the hospital will develop, evaluate and participate in educational experiences designed to ensure the next generation of health care leaders is prepared to care for the children of East Tennessee. Customer service –• Children’s Hospital will enhance the health care experience of our patients and families by expanding the services we provide in the most convenient, timely, welcoming and effective manner and setting. Strategic marketing –• the hospital will expand its understanding of consumer needs while providing the most current information available to patients and families about health care issues affecting children. Philanthropy –• Children’s Hospital will seek support from individuals, organizations and communities that enable us to advance our mission and vision for the future. As part of these initiatives, critical issues that require attention in the immediate future were highlighted. These include the renegotiation of TennCare contracts, solidifying our partnership with other area hospitals, successful physician recruitment, development of an electronic medical record and the expansion of clinical programs locally and regionally. In addition the hospital needs to develop a long range facilities plan to address existing space limitations, ensure that programs supporting both new and existing staff are the best they can be, develop new programs that will support the inclusion of families in the care of their children and expand efforts in marketing and philanthropy. Hospital President/CEO Keith Goodwin expressed his thanks to all who participated in the planning process and indicated the feedback was instrumental in the plan’s development. Goodwin said a consistent theme he heard as he interviewed Board and community leadership was a sense of tremendous pride in the care and services provided by Children’s Hospital. “The accomplishments of the past have created a wonderful platform for continued success into the future,” he said. ‘“Leading the way to healthy children’ gives all of us the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the children we care for.” Our Mission East Tennessee Children’s Hospital will improve the health of children through exceptional, comprehensive family-centered care, wellness and education. Our Core Values • Exceptional Care • Compassion • Collaboration • Integrity • Child and Family Partnership • Stewardship • Physician Partnership • Service Excellence • Highly Skilled and Dedicated Staff New vision statement defines hospital’s focus
  7. 7. 8 A day in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center earlier in her career. Collins has worked at Children’s Hospital for 13 years and has been touched by her experiences here. She said, “I have worked from coast to coast, but this is the best hospital in which I have worked, because of the compassion employees extend to one another in times of need.” Collins graduated from an associate degree nursing program in Florida and is currently working toward completion of her bachelor of science in nursing through Jacksonville University. She then plans to pursue her master’s degree in Nursing Informatics. Leanne Gibbs After working in the Haslam Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for 17 years, Leanne Gibbs decided she was ready for a change of pace. She always had an interest in being a lactation consultant because it would allow her to work closely with newborns and their families at a more relaxed pace than the typical stress of the NICU. After completion of a rigorous course and much training, she left her position in the unit to become a board certified lactation consultant in 2000. Gibbs also serves as chair of the patient education committee. In this position, she oversees the development of brochures highlighting a variety of pediatric health topics and educates the hospital on the importance of health literacy. Gibbs has many fond memories of her job, which she says makes it impossible to pick a favorite. One of her most special memories, however, involved a mother whose newborn child was re-admitted to the hospital. Gibbs worked extensively with the mother to educate her about her child’s health issues, and her compassion inspired the mother to want to become a lactation consultant herself. It was an unforgettable feeling for Gibbs to know that she had touched someone’s life through her job. “It is a wonderful job, and I love it,” Gibbs said. “I love the education aspect of it and working with moms and babies.” Gibbs started at Children’s Hospital as a patient care assistant while attending nursing school at the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation, she joined the nursing staff in 1983 and has been at Children’s ever since. “I’ve been treated well as a nurse here, and I love the people I work with,” Gibbs said. Karen Herbstritt Karen Herbstritt knew at an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in nursing. Her initial exposure to the field was through her aunts, who were nurses. She decided to take a position as a nurse’s aide in high school and then worked as a patient care assistant while attending St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in Erie, Pa. After graduation, Herbstritt remained at St. Vincent’s Hospital, where she began her nursing career on the geriatric floor. She later moved to Knoxville and accepted a position in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UT Medical Center. Later, while living in Colorado, she worked in the PICU at Denver Children’s Hospital; this was her first exposure to a pediatric specialty hospital, and she loved the total focus on children. When she eventually returned to Knoxville from Denver in 1984, Herbstritt came to work at Children’s Hospital as a nursing coordinator, a position she continues in today. Herbstritt credits her degrees in nursing and education for preparing her for her work as a nursing coordinator. “I have also had lots of varied experience with pediatric patients,” she said. Herbstritt said the most memorable moment in her nursing career occurred when she was working in the burn center at Denver Children’s. She had a young patient come in one evening who was burned on his entire body. “I watched this little boy’s eyes all night because that was all that wasn’t burned,” she said. “I had to use all of my skills that night. I remember him talking to me with his eyes. I can still shut my eyes and see him.” The little boy did not survive the night. Herbstritt was touched by this defining moment of her career, a night that she said has influenced all her work in the many days, nights and years that have followed. Darla Morgan Darla Morgan started her nursing career at UT Medical Center, where she spent four years working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Upon leaving that hospital, she took on the challenge of being in the float pool at Children’s Hospital as a resource RN. Morgan loves her job because she enjoys learning new skills and perfecting them. As a float nurse, she must have extensive knowledge of how all departments function so she can be as helpful as There is no such thing as a “typical” day in a hospital. Day in and day out, patients enter our doors for care, but each child is unique and each experience is different. However, within each day at Children’s Hospital, there are some common threads. One common thread is the training and experience of the hospital’s staff – no matter what situation arises, our staff is skilled and prepared to meet the challenge. For the next several issues of It’s About Children, we will profile some of our staff and highlight all our clinical areas. We hope it will give you a glimpse into life at Children’s Hospital. Nursing Support Staff Nursing support staff members play a vital role in contributing to the provision of quality patient care at Children’s Hospital. Clinical practice specialists in pulmonology, hematology/oncology, endocrinology, surgical services and critical care make up one diverse group of professionals in this area of nursing. Nursing coordinators, lactation consultants, nursing information systems coordinators and float nurses are also invaluable support staff, providing help throughout the hospital. Vicki Collins Vicki Collins works as the Nursing Information Systems Coordinator for Children’s Hospital. This dynamic profession, known formally as Nursing Informatics, blends the science of nursing and information technology, making it a growing field that is in high demand. Collins was introduced to nursing informatics through a Nursing quality improvement project, which led her to become a team leader for the Haslam Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Post- Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) online documentation project. She began her current position in 2003 after serving as a staff nurse in the NICU for two years and in the PACU for six years. One of her primary responsibilities is management and implementation of online Nursing documentation for hospital nurses through the Meditech Hospital Information System. Collins says her favorite memory of working in the nursing field is interacting with patients and their families. Building close relationships is what she loved most about her time as a staff nurse. Her daughter, Caitlin, was named in honor of one the babies she cared for while working as a staff RN in the NICU at of Children’s Hospital Leanne Gibbs Karen Herbstritt Vicki Collins
  8. 8. 9 UPCOMING community education classes CPR Certification Course Dates: September 8, October 13, November 10, and December 8 Time: 6-10 p.m. This certification course teaches the American Heart Association chain of survival -- from when to call 911 to how to effectively administer CPR to an infant, child or adult. This course is designed for anyone who may be expected to respond to emergencies at home or in the workplace. Participants must be at least 14 years old. Following the course, participants will receive an American Heart Association Heartsaver certification card. This course is $40 per person. Safe Sitter Dates: September 6 and 27, October 11, November 1 and 15, and December 6 and 13 Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch is provided) possible when she is needed in any given area. “Being oriented to all the hospital departments teaches you to appreciate job stress in each unit and allows you to relate to what each person does,” Morgan said. Her favorite part of her job is “knowing that I can help things go smoothly by staying with a patient as long as I’m needed,” Morgan said. “I like being able to help out in stressful situations, and I enjoy seeing the relief that I can provide for patients and their families.” Morgan obtained her associate’s degree in nursing from Walters State Community College and her bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College. She recently completed her master’s program and is a Family Nurse Practitioner. Casey Norris Casey Norris had always dreamed of working at a children’s hospital. When she first came to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in October 2002, Casey knew that she was right at home. “I love to teach, and I love children,” Norris said. “I fall in love with the patients and their families over and over again. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.” Casey Norris works as a Pulmonary Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) at Children’s Hospital. Before she came to Knoxville, Norris worked in Flowers Hospital in Dothan, Ala., in an adult surgery floor and in home health care. In the past 14 years, Norris has also worked in newborn nurseries and pediatrics in South Carolina and Kentucky. Norris says that her favorite part of being a CNS is working with patients who have asthma and with the cystic fibrosis population. “It can be a challenge at times, but it is very rewarding to be able to teach parents the things that I know,” she said. Norris attended Troy State University in Alabama for nursing school and continued at Clemson University for her master’s degree. by Logan Clark and Christie Sithiphone, student interns Casey Norris Darla Morgan Bruce Anderson has been named Vice President for Legal Services and General Counsel for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. This is a new position at the pediatric medical center, and Anderson will begin on Monday, July 7. Anderson comes to Children’s Hospital from the Knoxville firm of Anderson, Reeves and Herbert. As a trial lawyer for over 30 years in both state and federal court, Anderson has extensive litigation experience, and specializes in the area of medical malpractice defense. Anderson has been recognized by his peers by being chosen as a Master of the Bench of the American Inns of Court and as a Fellow in both the Tennessee and Knoxville Bar Foundations. He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America. Anderson has taken an active role in the growing area of alternative dispute resolution, has acted as one of Children’s Hospital’s attorneys for the past decade and has also served as a member of the hospital’s Board of Directors. In his new role, Anderson will focus on a variety of areas of importance for Children’s Hospital, including risk management, corporate compliance, insurance and hospital contractual relationships. “As Children’s Hospital has grown significantly and the issues we face as a pediatric medical center have increased and become more numerous and complex, our Administration and Board of Directors felt that it was important to have a position that will focus on the variety of issues that require legal expertise,” said Keith Goodwin, President/CEO of East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. “Bruce’s extensive background in legal services, particularly his work as one of this hospital’s attorneys and his work on our board made him an ideal candidate to lead Children’s Hospital in this important area for our future.” Anderson and his wife, Monique, live in West Knoxville and have two son, James, and John. A graduate of The University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s degree in business, Anderson also holds a J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law. Anderson has been a leader in the legal profession serving in various positions including President of the Knoxville Bar Association, House of Delegates of the Tennessee Bar Association, and he has chaired committees for both the Tennessee and Knoxville Bar Associations. Anderson’s community involvement includes serving on the board of directors for the Knoxville Utilities Board, Leadership Knoxville and the Tanasi Girl Scout Council. He is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army and was the 2002 recipient of the National Distinguished Leadership Award for the Community Leadership Association. “My (legal) representation of Children’s Hospital has enabled me to experience many of the day-to-day activities of the hospital, and I am coming to this new position with experience in health care from a practical side as well as a business point of view,” Anderson said. “I’ve always been very proud of the job that Children’s Hospital has done in this community and am excited about the opportunity to be involved in the future of the hospital.” Bruce Anderson Anderson named legal VP for hospital Safe Sitter is a national organization that teaches young adolescents safe and nurturing babysitting techniques and the rescue skills needed to respond appropriately to medical emergencies. Instructors are certified through Safe Sitter nationally. Participants must be ages 11-14. This course is $20 per person. Class size is limited for all classes, so preregistration is required. All classes are offered in the Koppel Plaza at Children’s Hospital, unless otherwise noted. For more information or to register for any of these classes or to receive our free Healthy Kids parenting newsletter, call (865) 541-8262. Announcements about upcoming classes can be seen on WBIR-TV 10 and heard on area radio stations. Or visit our Web site at and click on “Healthy Kids Education and News.” Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Kids Campaign, sponsored by WBIR-TV Channel 10 and Chick- Fil-A, is a community education initiative of the hospital’s Community Relations Department to help parents keep their children healthy.
  9. 9. SubspecialistProfilesSubspecialistProfiles B.S. (Chemistry/Anthropology) –• University of Memphis, Memphis, 1993 M.D. –• University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, 2001 Internship (General Surgery) –• University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, 2001-02 Residency (General Surgery) –• University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, 2002-06 (including final year as chief resident) Fellowship (Pediatric Surgery) –• St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington University, St. Louis, 2006-08 Other Education –• Ph.D., University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Department of Pharmacology, 2001 Family –• wife, Belinda Roaten; children, Meredith (age 10), Hannah (age 7) and Holden (age 4) Personal interests –• rock climbing, mountaineering, running and taking care of his three Irish wolfhounds   During his final rotation in medical school, Brent Roaten, M.D., worked in surgery, and it was an eye-opening experience. While he had been planning throughout medical school to be a pediatrician, he found himself drawn to surgery. “I fell in love with pediatric surgery and changed my career plans at the last minute,” Dr. Roaten said. “It’s been my passion and goal ever since.” Pediatric surgery encompasses “a broad range of diseases, and the outcomes are generally good,” Dr. Roaten said. “I feel like I’m making a difference.” For example, for some young children with a congenital anomaly (birth defect), Dr. Roaten may be able to perform a relatively simple procedure, offering the child a more normal life. “It’s a good feeling,” he said. Dr. Roaten, the father of three children, recently moved to Knoxville to join the East Tennessee Pediatric Surgery Group practice of Drs. Alfred Kennedy, Carol Fowler and Carlos Angel. He was primarily interested in moving to Tennessee to take advantage of the excellent opportunity to work with the East Tennessee Pediatric Surgery Group at Children’s Hospital but also wanted to be closer to the mountains, where he can indulge his interests in outdoor activities. As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Roaten is a true general surgeon, treating conditions literally from head to toe (except the ear/nose/ throat and the heart). Among the common problems he treats are surgical disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, chest wall deformities and hernias. He performs appendectomies, lung surgeries and bowel resections; repairs a broad spectrum of congenital abnormalities; removes pediatric tumors (most commonly ones located in the chest or abdomen and sometimes on the extremities); and removes skin lesions. While at the University of Colorado completing his residency, Dr. Roaten studied pediatric melanomas, one of the most serious types of skin cancer. He notes that pediatric melanomas are one of the types of skin lesions he now treats as a pediatric surgeon. Only about one percent of pediatric cancers are melanomas, but a diagnosis of melanoma is just as serious for children as it is for adults. Moreover, much like melanoma’s increase in the adult population, Dr. Roaten noted it is also increasing in the pediatric population, especially among adolescents, due to a greater level of sun exposure. As a young pediatric surgeon, Dr. Roaten is trained in the latest laparoscopic (minimally invasive) techniques for surgery. While accomplishing the same goals as more invasive open surgeries, minimally invasive procedures involve smaller incisions, shorter surgeries, more brief hospital stays and quicker recovery times. Dr. Roaten notes that even in just the past 10 years, laparoscopy has become more common in pediatrics and is a more significant focus in residencies and fellowship training. “General surgery moved faster in this area than pediatric surgery,” Dr. Roaten said. “But the new generation of pediatric surgeons will increase the use of it, and I plan to do that here.” Even with great tools available like minimally invasive surgery for quicker and easier recovery times for patients, Dr. Roaten said a key challenge always remains when he is unable to help a patient: “A child with a terminal diagnosis or a neonate with a complex spectrum of problems that cannot be corrected is always a challenge and very disappointing.” Working in concert with Drs. Kennedy, Fowler and Angel, Dr. Roaten will help to expand the availability of pediatric surgery care for children in the East Tennessee region. J. Brent Roaten, M.D. 10 Pediatric surgeon brings passion to his profession
  10. 10. B.S.• – United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., 1988 M.D. –• Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, 1993 Transitional Internship –• William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas, 1993-94 Residency (Orthopaedic Surgery)• – Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., 1996-2000 Fellowship (Pediatric Orthopaedic• Surgery) – Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., 2000-01 Family –• wife, Staci Moran Crawford; and children, JB (age 10), Bo (age 8) and Molly (age 3) Personal interests –• all activities with the family (school, sports, church, etc.), and hospital-related activities within the community Former Army physician joins Children’s Hospital medical staff After a nine-year military commitment, John Jay Crawford, M.D., has returned to the Southeast to join the Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic staff as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon. He joins Drs. Bob Madigan and Cameron Sears, who have both provided pediatric orthopedic services at Children’s Hospital for many years. Dr. Crawford, a native of North Alabama, met his wife while at Vanderbilt University. The Crawfords decided early in their marriage that once Dr. Crawford’s military commitment was completed, they wanted to move to middle or east Tennessee to be close to Mrs. Crawford’s family in Knoxville. That time finally came for the Crawfords in April of this year, following seven years in San Antonio, Texas, where Dr. Crawford worked primarily at Brooke Army Medical Center; he also was on the medical staff of three other military and civilian hospitals in the San Antonio area, including Methodist Children’s Hospital of South Texas. “The biggest reason we are in Knoxville instead of other cities in the region is because of Children’s Hospital and Dr. Bob Madigan and what they have done together over the past 30+ years to build this into a center of excellence,” Dr. Crawford said. “Dr. Cameron Sears has collaborated with Dr. Madigan for the past 13 years to build the program. I don’t know that I would have come here if not for this. “I was very impressed with this hospital, and with Drs. Madigan and Sears,” he continued. “I had opportunities to go just about anywhere. But this lets me live in my wife’s hometown and still offer the highest quality of care—what people would traditionally expect in Atlanta, Nashville or Cincinnati. Children’s Hospital is at a premier level of orthopedics – I’m here because it had already been built. I feel lucky and happy to be here.” Dr. Crawford was drawn to the specialty of pediatric orthopedics through his interest in the pathology of children’s diseases and the types of surgeries that are used to treat their diseases. “It’s extraordinarily interesting and satisfying how children heal and the results we can get,” he said. “And as a father, I get tremendous satisfaction from taking care of children. It’s almost an extension of parenting.” Dr. Crawford said that often the health problems of adults can be traced to unhealthy or unsafe habits and bad decisions, whereas children are generally injured doing normal kid activities like sports. “So it’s not as painful to get up in the middle of the night to help a child,” he said. “I just feel badly for them and their families.” Within his specialty, Dr. Crawford has a particular interest in spine and extremity deformities, especially scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and surgeries involving circular fixation (Ilizarov/spatial frame) to correct severe deformities of limbs. This involves putting a “cage or brace” on bones, cutting through the bone and pulling the ends apart slowly, then allowing new bone to grow in the gap (a process called “distraction osteogenesis”). Dr. Crawford also enjoys treating patients with arthroscopic joint procedures and children with athletic sports injuries and fractures. Fractures – what most people refer to as “broken bones” – of the arm or leg are without question the most common diagnosis for Dr. Crawford’s patients. He also treats many children with birth defects related to the bones and joints, as well as diseases that begin in childhood such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy; for these children, he may prescribe physical therapy, bracing and/or surgery to straighten bones and lengthen tendons. Dr. Crawford brings a unique and valuable skill to his practice at Children’s Hospital – he is one of just a dozen or so physicians in the United States with significant experience in limb lengthening for children with short limbs (typically one limb is longer than the other). The easier way to treat uneven legs is to shorten the longer leg; however, that involves cutting into the healthy leg and also makes the child shorter. Instead, when indicated, Dr. Crawford can use a more complicated technique to fix the shorter leg, the one that did not form correctly. This does not require surgery on the healthy leg and it also enables the child to be taller after surgery, instead of shorter. Like many surgical specialties, orthopedics has benefited in recent years from advances in less invasive surgical options, with much smaller incisions. Also, patients with clubfeet can benefit from more casting and smaller procedures, instead of major surgeries. In addition, bone grafting has improved significantly – pediatric orthopedic surgeons such as Dr. Crawford no longer routinely have to take bone from the patient’s pelvis; instead, there are ways to help the patient’s body make new bone, or new bone can be obtained from a lab. This results in shorter recovery time for patients and is one of the most exciting improvements in pediatric health care in recent years, according to Dr. Crawford. John Jay Crawford, M.D. 11
  11. 11. children from all sections of the community who had contracted this crippling disease and decided to act. The founders knew something had to be done to help local families find the care their children needed and to make certain it was available here in East Tennessee, near family and friends. And in the 1930s, in the South, they wanted to make certain this care was accessible to children of all races and religions, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay the medical bill. This is the generous and caring legacy of our founders. This is East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, their legacy for the families of our community. More than 70 years since our doors first opened at 1912 Laurel Avenue, many other generous friends have made donations to help Children’s Hospital grow and meet the needs of our expanding population. Now that Imagine you are the worried parent of a sick child in the summer of 1935. Your daughter has been running a fever for days. It is over 90 degrees outside for the fifth day in a row, but the electric fan you borrowed from your neighbor is not helping. Your daughter is drowsy. She has a headache, and her neck and back are more stiff and painful almost by the hour. This morning they are almost rigid. She wants your help; everyone in the family is frightened. You have heard of these symptoms before. Assuming that you can read, your newspaper tells you that the country is in the grip of a polio outbreak. The paper says that there are an unusual number of cases in the Southern states. The doctor stops by and confirms your worst fears. Your daughter has polio – or acute infantile paralysis, as it is also called. Some of the local hospitals are taking care of a few children. But there are few, if any, specialized services available locally for your daughter. Not only are you going to need specialized care for her, but you also will need to take her hundreds of miles by train to find it. What will happen? Your mother is getting on in years, but you hope she will be able to care for your home, spouse and other children while you are away. How will you pay the hospital bills? Yours is a truly desperate situation. You are the type of person the founders of Children’s Hospital were thinking of that summer. A small group of dedicated physicians and community leaders saw polio take its toll on the children of our community and felt the agonizing despair of mothers and fathers who received this devastating news. These men saw the threat of polio no longer haunts the dreams of area parents, our donors help provide treatment for the many other illnesses and injuries that affect East Tennessee’s children. The need is still great. Children’s Hospital had almost 144,000 patient visits last year. You can leave your own legacy of hope by having your lawyer add a bequest to Children’s Hospital in your will. Our vision of “Leading the Way to Healthy Children” will not happen without help from supporters in the community like you. For our complimentary booklet titled “How to Make a Will that Works,” send your name and address to us via the reply form below. You may also contact David Rule, Director of Development, at, or Teresa Goddard, CFRE, Senior Development Officer, at, or call us at (865) 541-8441. Estate Planning A Legacy of Hope 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, “How to Make a Will That Works.”  Name______________________________ Address____________________________________________________________ City___________________________ State_______ Zip_____________ Phone (______) ___________________________ r Please call me at the phone number above 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 the 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 just hovering around the required minimum. With your help, there is still an opportunity to do more for the children the hospital serves. You can beautify your car with one of the attractive plates designed by Morris Creative Group. But most importantly, you can help make Children’s Hospital an even better place for area children. Each day, the hospital’s chaplains, social workers and child life specialists meet the pressing needs of area families whose sick and injured children have been entrusted to our care. These children come from Knoxville and hundreds of other communities in the surrounding counties and states. These families are concerned and nervous about their child being in the hospital. And some have additional financial stress because they are missing work. So Children’s Hospital provides staff to comfort both the child and the family, to help find resources to deal with financial woes and the need for ongoing care, and to provide books and toys for patients and siblings. And these staff members have the resources to do this because you and your friends and family care enough to buy a Children’s Hospital specialty license plate. 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 donated the time of their artists to prepare the plate’s attractive design. Volunteers stuffed mailings to help sell the initial 1,000 plates. And the results have been wonderful. Since the plate first became available, Children’s Hospital has received $54,509.25, benefiting children served by the hospital’s chaplains, social workers and Child Life staff. The license plate is an easy way to support Children’s Hospital, and we are grateful to each person who has purchased one. Please consider renewing your Children’s Hospital plate each year and encouraging friends and family to join you. 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. Not only will you have a more attractive car, but you will also have that warm feeling that comes from helping children. If you have questions about the Children’s Hospital specialty license plate, contact your local County Clerk’s office or the hospital’s Development Department at (865) 541-8441.12 License plate deadline extended; purchasers can still help area families
  12. 12. 13 UPCOMING EVENTS 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. ETPMI Golf Tournament The East Tennessee Chapter of Project Management Institute will hold its second annual golf tournament fundraiser on September 12. The tournament, which will be at Farragut’s Willow Creek Golf Club, will benefit the Celiac Disease Support Group at Children’s Hospital. For more information, contact Don McKenzie at (865) 241-7399. Claris Networks Golf Tournament Claris Networks (formerly RM Technologies) will host a golf tournament to benefit Children’s Hospital on September 26 at River Islands Golf Club. The fun-filled day will include more than just 18 holes of golf; radio personality Phil Williams of WNOX’s “The Phil Show” will host a luncheon for all participants. Last year’s tournament brought in more than $15,000 for the Goody’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. For more information, contact Alexis Lombard in the Development Office at (865) 541-8745. Oakes Corn Maze The eighth annual “Trail of Doom” Corn Maze will be at Oakes Farm in Corryton, just in time for the Halloween season. The spooky maze sprawls over several acres and is sure to give visitors a thrill as they try to navigate their way to the end. The event is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday beginning October 2 and continuing through November 1. For more information, contact Paula Haun at (865) 541-8441. Knoxville Mortgage Bankers Association Golf Tournament The 22nd annual Knoxville Mortgage Bankers Association Golf Tournament is set to tee off October 6 at Gettysvue Polo Golf and Country Club. All tournament proceeds will benefit Camp Eagle’s Nest, a camp for patients of the Hematology/Oncology Clinic at Children’s Hospital. If you would like to participate in the KMBA golf tournament or serve as a volunteer during set-up and registration, please call the Children’s Hospital Development Office at (865) 541-8745. Chili for the Children Are you ready to “chow down for children?” The Phi Mu sorority at the University of Tennessee will host its annual “Chili for the Children” event this fall before a home UT football game. Everyone is invited to join in the fun at the tailgate where they will be selling chili as a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital. Watch the Children’s Hospital website for more details. War of the Wings The University of Tennessee’s Kappa Delta sorority is preparing for the 16th annual “War of the Wings” fundraiser for Children’s Hospital. The event is set to take place this fall on UT’s campus. Various local restaurants and fraternities will contribute chicken wings for tasty tailgating before a home UT football game. The different recipes are judged, and the winner for best wings will be announced. Last year, this event brought in $11,400 to benefit the hospital. This fall’s date will be announced soon. Robert Tino Holiday Art Sale Nationally recognized artist Robert Tino of Sevierville will return to Children’s Hospital on November 19-20 for his 12th annual holiday art sale fundraiser. The sale will take place in the Meschendorf Conference Room in Koppel Plaza, and a portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to the hospital. Aside from raising money for Children’s, Tino’s art sale provides hospital staff, guests and the public with an opportunity to meet the artist and get some holiday shopping done early. For more information, contact Amanda Armstrong in the Development Office at (865) 541-8567. Fantasy of Trees The 24th annual Fantasy of Trees for Children’s Hospital will take place November 26-30 at the Knoxville Convention Center with a theme of “There’s No Business Like Snow Business.” The holiday celebration will feature hundreds of stunning designer- decorated Christmas trees and a variety of beautiful seasonal decor. There is plenty for the whole family to enjoy during the event, including a Babes in Toyland parade on Wednesday, Kris Kringle’s Kiddie Party on Friday, a gingerbread house village, gift shops, live entertainment, visits with Santa and much more. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12, and free for children under age 4. Come support this festive fundraiser and help us improve on last year’s total. For more information, contact Volunteer Services and Resources at (865) 541-8385. by Logan Clark, student intern There are many opportunities throughout each year for area golfers to enjoy a day on the course and help Children’s Hospital at the same time. In 2008, the annual Fantasy of Trees to benefit Children’s Hospital will celebrate the theme “There’s No Business Like Snow Business.”
  13. 13. What are some tips for navigating the health care system? Making decisions while everyone is healthy can help reduce the stress and financial strain when someone in your family does need medical care. Here are suggestions: Choose your coverage carefully. While it’s• impossible to predict sudden illnesses and accidents, you can anticipate some things. For example, if your child has a chronic disease that requires frequent checkups and tests, make sure to pick a plan that covers them. Make a medical home. Try to establish a• long-term relationship with a pediatrician or family doctor who can get to know your family, provide well care and most of the sick care your child might need, keep complete medical records of things like immunizations and growth and become familiar with your family’s medical history. Don’t skip checkups. It’s important to keep• regular checkups even when children aren’t sick — this way, doctors can make sure they’re developing as expected and can catch any health concerns early so that they don’t become expensive and hard-to-treat medical problems later. Letting regular check-ups lapse may save time and money in the short-term but ultimately might translate into bigger bills and longer waits at the doctor’s office. Keep vaccines up to date. Checkups are• especially important so that children can stay current on their immunizations. Thanks to new vaccines, parents have more opportunities than ever to keep children healthy and safe from contagious illnesses. Don’t delay care. When children are sick• or injured, it can be difficult to decide how much medical care they need. Ultimately, if you’re unsure about what medical care your child needs, your doctor can help you determine what to do. Check it out before you act on it. More health• and medical information is available than ever before – on the Internet, through support groups, in magazines and newspapers. All that information can be helpful, but it’s important to check out anything you hear or read that might be relevant to your child’s health with a doctor or nurse before you act on it. There is, unfortunately, plenty of bad information mixed in with the good information on the Internet, and it can be hard to sort out. For a list of good health care Web sites to start your research, visit Children’s Hospital’s Web site at How can I deal with my child’s mounting medical bills? Some parents may think that insurance will cover all or most of their child’s medical expenses – or that being able to afford their child’s health care needs won’t be a problem. But each medical service comes with its own price tag, and parents are sometimes surprised to learn that hospital care, surgical procedures, doctor visits and laboratory tests are separate services with separate bills. Some parents may also overlook costs that are indirectly related to their child’s care – missed time at work, child care for siblings, increased utility bills, custom transportation and home renovations, such as ramps for wheelchair accessibility. The best way to make sense of bills and prevent financial problems is to take a proactive stance. Learn all you can about your health plan and the meaning of insurance terms. Which doctors participate in your plan? What services are covered? Understanding your health plan’s design and its policies can ultimately save you thousands of dollars. You may find it useful to get a written copy of your policy from the insurer. Although you may have an enrollment information book from your employer, the actual policy provides specific details about your coverage. Policies and bills can be confusing, but help is available. These simple steps can help you avoid problems: 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 kids 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 will highlight eight of these important children’s health issues to watch. Each issue of It’s About Children this year will focus on two topics. This list is 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 in 2008 and into the future. Covering children’s health needs Until recently the debate over what to do about uninsured Americans had largely focused on adults, particularly the elderly. Now the focus has shifted to helping parents find affordable insurance for children, especially those of the working poor who don’t qualify for Medicaid or can’t afford private insurance. What are the trends in health coverage for children? There is a movement toward consumer-directed health care, health insurance that is designed to get those who use health care – like parents – to play a bigger part in keeping costs in check. Many different types of consumer-directed health care plans are available, each with benefits and limitations. Many plans feature high deductibles (the amount of money parents must spend before health care is covered by insurance) as well as health care savings accounts, which allow parents to save money to pay for the services that insurance doesn’t cover. Some plans – but not all – cover preventive care, routine checkups, vaccines, tests and regular disease screenings. So when you’re choosing health insurance, it’s important to look for a plan that meets your family’s needs. part 3 of 4part 3 of 4 ‘08‘08Covering Children’s Health Needs and Bullying: Not just kids’ stuff 14
  14. 14. Be sure to: Take bullying seriously. Make sure your• children understand that you will not tolerate bullying at home or anywhere else. Establish rules about bullying and stick to them. If you punish your child by taking away privileges, be sure it’s meaningful. If your child acts aggressively at home, with siblings or others, teach more appropriate (and nonviolent) ways to react, like walking away. Teach children to treat others with• respect and kindness. Teach your child that it is wrong to ridicule differences (i.e., race, religion, appearance, special needs, gender, economic status) and try to instill a sense of empathy for those who are different. Learn about your child’s social life.• Look for insight into the factors that may be influencing your child’s behavior wherever the bullying is occurring. Talk with parents of your child’s friends and peers, teachers, guidance counselors and the school principal. Get your children involved in activities outside of school so that they meet and develop friendships with other children. Encourage good behavior. Positive• reinforcement can be more powerful than negative discipline. Set a good example. Think carefully• about how you talk around your children and how you handle conflict and problems. If you behave aggressively – toward or in front of your children – chances are they’ll follow your example. What can we expect of this issue in 2008? Bullying will continue to move beyond the domain of school discipline and into the realm of public health and safety, with more state and local governments attempting to address the issue through legislation and community programs. Parents will also be called on to take a more active role in broaching the issue with their children. If you are a Tennessee resident, find out• if your family is eligible for TennCare. TennCare is Tennessee’s Medicaid managed care program that provides health coverage for low-income children, pregnant women and disabled Tennesseans. To learn about this program, visit tenncare/members.html. Tennessee also offers a health insurance• program called Cover Tennessee to provide options that are affordable and that meet the needs of the uninsured in our state who are not eligible for TennCare. As part of the Cover Tennessee program, CoverKids offers qualifying families comprehensive health coverage to uninsured children, age 18 and under, and to pregnant women. To learn more, visit our Web site at www.etch. com/coverkids.cfm. Locate the resources available within your• child’s hospital, such as the business office, for answers to your questions about medical expenses. Ask your health care provider or insurance• company to have a case manager assigned to your child. Make your child’s health care providers• aware of your plan’s benefits and limitations. Organize! Keep a journal and files to record• doctor visits and any services performed (including lab work, X-rays, CT scans, etc.) and the fees for these services so that detailed information about your child’s health care is easily accessible. This may seem like a lot of work, but it will be extremely helpful when dealing with your insurance company. Know your rights as a health consumer. If• your insurance company denies coverage for certain expenses, appeal the decision. Doctors can sometimes write letters or help you appeal to the insurance company to get certain services covered. Contact your state’s department of• insurance if you encounter problems with your health care coverage — especially if you’ve already appealed a case of denied or inadequate coverage. What can we expect of this issue in 2008? The question of how to ensure that all children in the United States get the health care they need is likely to be a prominent issue in this fall’s presidential race. The well being of children and families is a perennial issue for those in political life – but will it finally be solved? Or after the elections, will it be forgotten once again? Bullying: Not just kids’ stuff Growing recognition of the impact of bullying has prompted new urgency to prevent it in schools and communities. While bullying is nothing new, school shootings at Virginia Tech and elsewhere highlighted the reach of bullying and how it can escalate far beyond schoolyard scuffles. One new study showed that 90 percent of elementary school students have been bullied by peers and 60 percent of children admitted to being bullies. Other new research points to the long-term effects of bullying. One study found that bullies and their victims are more likely than other children to be victims of crime outside of school. My son is being bullied. How can I help him? Having to deal with a bully is hard for a child – especially at school. Listen to your son’s worries and convey that it’s OK for him to feel that way. Try to get your son to talk about what has been going on at school – just listening can be helpful. Offer assurance without making him feel like you’re dismissing his feelings. When he feels understood by you, he’ll be more receptive to your help and any advice on coping that you offer. Go over some strategies that he can use if someone teases him. Ignoring the bully and simply walking away or using humor to combat aggressiveness might get the bully to stop. Bullies often give up when they don’t get a response from their target. Although children can resolve many incidents of bullying on their own, do keep an eye on the situation. If it persists, get involved by talking to your child’s teacher or school counselor. What can I do to help a child stop bullying? It can be shocking and upsetting to learn that your child has been labeled a bully. As difficult as it may be to process this news, it’s important to deal with it right away. If it’s not stopped, it can lead to more aggressive antisocial behavior and interfere with your child’s success in school and ability to form and sustain friendships. Children bully for many reasons. Some bully because they feel insecure. Other children bully because they simply don’t know that it’s unacceptable to pick on children who are different because of size, looks, race or religion. In some cases bullying is a part of an ongoing pattern of defiant or aggressive behavior. These children are likely to need help learning to manage anger and hurt, frustration or other strong emotions. Professional counseling can often help them learn to deal with their feelings, curb their bullying and improve their social skills. Some children who bully are copying behavior that they see at home. Children who are exposed to aggressive and unkind interactions in the family often learn to treat others the same way. And children who are on the receiving end of taunting learn that bullying can translate into control over children they perceive as weak. 15 Article edited and abridged from the KidsHealth section of © 2008 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. Used under license.
  15. 15. April 20 – Safe Kids Day on the Hill in Nashville Coalition members visited with state legislators and handed out Safe Kids materials. Tennessee Safe Kids Coordinator Susan Helms coordinated activities. May 2 – Water Safety Program at Children’s Hospital Rehab Center Pool This event specifically targeted recreational pool safety techniques for children with special needs. It included information on use of safety/flotation devices, their importance and appropriate use and importance of sizing and correct application. Four children with different special needs and their parents participated to demonstrate the variety of devices available. The program speaker was Deidra Phillips, LPTA, from the Children’s Hospital Rehabilitation Center. May 3 – Safety City Safety/Bike Fair Despite rainy weather in the first hour of the event, about 55 children came out to learn about bike safety and wearing appropriate safety gear. Coalition member Knoxville Police Department hosted this event; a similar event also takes place each fall. May 4 – Smoke Alarm Relay “Gear Up Game” at Girls on the Run 5K Event More than 120 girls ages 8-12 years old from Blount, Knox and Loudon counties were registered to participate in this 5K Run/Walk, and over 50 children participated in learning more about the importance of smoke alarms, how they work and the proper timing for changing their batteries. Since spring, Children’s Hospital has been actively working toward assuming leadership of Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area. Even though the change was not effective until July 1, the hospital increased its involvement in the coalition and has been involved in a number of Safe Kids programs. The mission of the local Safe Kids coalition is to reduce unintentional injuries in children up to age 14 in the East Tennessee region by promoting awareness and implementing prevention initiatives. The local Safe Kids is part of Safe Kids Worldwide, a network of coalitions whose primary purpose is to prevent unintentional injuries in children by providing children and adults caring for them with information about how to stay safe. April 28-29 – “Gear Up Games” on Brain Injury At South Doyle Middle School, about 1,000 students in grades 6-8 (the entire school) saw Safe Kids message about helmet use and brain injuries and participated in the Safe Kids Week “Gear Up Game” on Brain Injury. This helped reach the “tween” audience as well as high-risk children (54 percent of the students at South Doyle are on free or reduced cost lunches). The Epilepsy Foundation, a Safe Kids coalition member organization, donated bike helmets to be given away to more than 200 students who requested them. Other stations at the event highlighted the following topics: stress and peer pressure; sexually transmitted diseases; prescription drug dangers; and a “Jeopardy” game with questions on violence, sexual topics, healthy eating, etc. June 11 – Water Safety Day at Dollywood’s Splash Country See page 3 for information about this program. July 23 – Spot the Tot Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area and Safety City, in conjunction with Beaty Chevrolet, hosted a “Spot the Tot” program with the LaPetite Academy on Bagley Lane to teach the life or death lesson of not playing behind motor vehicles. The interactive program gave participating children a hands-on experience in the many dangers of playing around cars, in driveways and on streets. A long-time Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area partner, Beaty Chevrolet provided vehicles used in the program. In addition to Children’s Hospital, Safe Kids Coalition member organizations taking part in some or all of these programs were AAA of East Tennessee, the Epilepsy Foundation, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, Kids on the Block, Knox County Coordinated School Health, Knox County Health Department, Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Knoxville Police Department, Rural/Metro Knox County, UT Child Care Resource Center and UT Medical Center. S a f e K i d s i s o n a r o l l