It's About Children - Summer 2013 Issue by East Tennessee Children's Hospital
Board of Directors
Dennis Ragsdale, Chairman
Bill Terry, M.D., Vice Chairman
Michael Crabtree, Secretary/Treasurer
John Buchheit, M.D.
Debbie Christiansen, M.D.
Keith D. Goodwin
Lewis Harris, M.D.
A. David Martin
Christopher Miller, M.D.
Jim Bush, Chair Emeritus
William G. Byrd, M.D., Chair Emeritus
Don Parnell, Chair Emeritus
Mark Cramolini, M.D., Chief of Staff
Barbara Summers, M.D., Vice Chief of Staff
Cameron J. Sears, M.D., Secretary
New technology protects
patients from infection
Chief of Services
Kevin Brinkman, M.D., Chief of Medicine
Glaze Vaughan, M.D., Chief of Surgery
Keith D. Goodwin, President/CEO
Bruce Anderson, Vice President for Legal Services
& General Counsel
Laura Barnes, R.N., M.S.N., NEA-BC, Vice President
for Patient Care
Joe Childs, M.D., Vice President for Medical Services
Zane Goodrich, CPA, Vice President for Finance & CFO
Carlton M. Long, Vice President for Development
and Community Services
Rudy McKinley, Vice President for Operations
Sue Wilburn, Vice President for Human Resources
It’s About Children Staff
Paul Parson, Editor
Jessica Boyd and Cassidy Duckett, Writers
Neil Crosby, Contributing Photographer
Karen Tindal, a mother of three,
discovers the benefit of having a
pediatric hospital close by.
At Children’s Hospital, germs are being
detected and eliminated before they
can cause costly and potentially fatal
Why play matters
Child Life Specialists serve as cheerleaders, confidantes and advocates to
patients who may be frightened by or
unfamiliar with the hospital setting.
In the words of
Fifteen families have graciously
volunteered to serve as examples of
why the work at Children’s Hospital
and all Children’s Miracle Network
Hospitals matters. In this issue, we spotlight a few of our new ambassadors.
Connect with us:
It’s About Children is a publication
of the Marketing Department at
East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
How to enjoy the water safely
Even if you are on vacation, you can never take a
vacation from water safety. Children’s Hospital, the Safe
Kids Coalition of the Greater Knox Area, Dollywood’s
Splash Country and WVLT Volunteer TV have
teamed to offer parents and children unique learning
experiences to keep them safe around water this summer.
On Tuesday, June 18, a special series of activities
beginning at 10 a.m. will be offered at Dollywood’s Splash
Country. The Water Safety Day event will feature a
rescue demonstration by staff lifeguards; information
about lifesaving techniques and how to be prepared for
an emergency from Children’s Hospital; safety tips from
Safe Kids of the Greater Knox Area; and opportunities
to win great water safety items. These activities are free
with paid admission to Splash Country.
Call Children’s Hospital’s Community Relations
Department at (865) 541-8165 for more information
about water safety and the June 18 event.
Water parks, oceans, lakes and rivers can be a lot of
fun for children—as long as you keep safety in mind.
If you look away for a moment, your child could
drown in seconds. Other accidents could include slipping
and falling or injuries due to boating or tubing. Even a
skilled young swimmer will need the help of an adult in
an emergency. Always designate an adult who will be
responsible for watching children when they are around
water. Also, having a phone nearby to reach emergency
officials can save your child’s life.
At the water park or beach, take an active role in
your child’s safety by teaching him to follow the rules and
always accompanying him in the water. Though lifeguards
may be present, they are meant to recognize someone in
distress. Responsible parents can prevent situations like
this from happening in the first place.
If you are near another body of water, be sure to
follow the rules on the posted signs. If a sign says
swimming is not allowed, there is a reason for that.
During the June 18
Water Safety Day
event, lifeguards from
Country will stage a
Your family will also
learn tips for keeping
your child safe around
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Mother of three discovers the benefit
of having a pediatric hospital close by
by Cassidy Duckett
Imagine being fairly new to the area and not knowing
where to go when your child gets hurt. That’s scary enough.
But what if this happened a decade ago—before cell phones
were as readily available as they are now?
What do you do?
“We hopped in the car and headed to the closest hospital,”
said Karen Tindal, mother of three.
It was Parkwest Medical Center—an adult hospital.
"From a mom's
was just great.
I called the nurse
line for questions
and they called me
over the weekend
to see how he was
doing--it was a
Karen was thankful when the staff stabilized her 6-yearold daughter Angela, who had fallen while they were at her
older brother’s baseball practice. But she was surprised at
what happened next.
“They told me I needed to go to Children’s Hospital
because they would know what to do there,” Karen said.
Because Angela’s bones were still growing, she had a
weak spot in the center of her femur. When she fell at the
baseball field that day, her bone shattered due to a bone cyst.
It happened on the first day of school for the kindergartner.
Angela was transported by ambulance to Children’s
Hospital where she was put in a complete leg cast for six
“Each month, they cut part of the cast away,” Karen said.
“We had to home-school her and put her in a wagon to take
her to the store and to church. It was a tough few months,
but we had wonderful care at Children’s Hospital.”
By 2012, Karen, now the Executive Director of Girls
on the Run, and her family thought they had outgrown
Children’s Hospital. Her youngest son, Alex, had earned a
spot on the varsity football team during his freshman year at
Farragut High School. On his first day of school, he ended
up at the bottom of a pile during practice. Karen took Alex
to the after-hours clinic at Knoxville Orthopedic Group
where an X-ray was completed. This group provides pediatric
orthopedic services at Children’s Hospital.
“They said that his tibia and fibula were fractured, and
that the doctor would want to do the surgery at Children’s
Hospital,” Karen said. “When Alex heard, he made a face and
said, ‘I’m not going to a children’s hospital.’ Everyone else was
like, ‘Yeah, you definitely are.’
“Alex thought he had outgrown Children’s Hospital, but
I was so glad they were there. They were great about being
very age-appropriate with him. We were in the waiting room
next to a 7-year-old, and it was amazing to see the nurse
interact with the patients on different levels.”
Though Alex was older than some of the other patients,
more than half of the trauma patients at Children’s Hospital
are between the ages of 12 and 18.
“Most of these injuries occur during sports or
recreational activities like skateboarding, riding four-wheelers
and snowboarding,” said Jay Crawford, M.D., of the Knoxville
Orthopedic Clinic. “We treat these types of injuries every
single day, which is what makes us so good at it.”
After Alex’s surgery, the Children’s Hospital staff called
to check on him.
“From a mom’s perspective, it was just great,” Karen said.
“I called the nurse line for questions about medication, and
they called me over the weekend to see how he was doing—it
was a great experience.”
Eleven years after her surgery, Angela, 17, is able to do
anything she wants to—except her brother’s favorite sport.
“When Dr. (Robert) Madigan released her, he said that
she could do anything in life but play football,” Karen said.
“She rode horses, ran around and was an active child.”
As a junior at Farragut High School, Angela serves as the
captain of the Color Guard and recently traveled to London
to march in the New Year’s Day parade. And she’s starting to
look at colleges as she plans for her future.
Though Alex is still recovering from surgery, he will
return to playing football as soon as he can.
“He has this love of football that takes up his whole life,”
Karen said. “He’s very outgoing and gets good grades. Right
now he’s in driving school so he doesn’t completely scare me
when he gets his license.”
For the family, having Children’s Hospital close by was
an unexpected blessing. “Both times I needed Children’s
Hospital, I had no idea I needed them. But both times, they
provided wonderful care.”
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New technology protects patients from infection
by Cassidy Duckett
In any hospital, dangerous germs can be
transmitted through touch, equipment and
improper cleaning. At Children’s Hospital,
however, germs are being detected and eliminated
before these costly and potentially fatal infections
can occur by using the Clean-Trace system.
“This state-of-the-art technology allows us
to measure how effectively we’re disinfecting,”
said Michael Priestap, Director of Environmental
The hand-held device measures the presence
of organic material on 17 high-touch areas in a
patient room. If a score of 200 to 400 appears on
the screen, the area is considered clean by hospital
standards. In comparison, a surface that has not
been cleaned can result in a score of more than
2,000. The tests are completed after a patient has
left to ensure the room is clean and disinfected
for the next patient.
“The risk of infections in hospitals is a
huge safety issue,” said Darci Hodge, Director
of Infection Control. “By making sure a room is
clean after a patient has left, parents and patients
moving into that room do not have to worry about
what the previous patient had. Testing the surfaces
with Clean-Trace proves that there is not a chance
of passing on germs.”
While many companies offer germ-detecting
devices, the Clean-Trace system stores data from
past tests that can be uploaded to computers,
allowing staff to see which areas consistently need
“It can be used as an educational tool to show
the consequences of improper disinfection and
helps us determine areas for retraining,” Priestap
In the past, culture plates were used to show
nurses what could grow in environments with
germs. These plates take about three days to grow
bacteria, whereas a Clean-Trace test creates instant,
Beyond education, the immediate, accurate
results give patients, families and staff the peace
of mind that all equipment and rooms have been
“When you see it in black and white like that,
it’s ‘yes’ because we have proof to our patients and
ourselves that we do a good job,” Hodge said.
Additionally, the device reveals which
cleaning products work the best for high-risk
surfaces. Cleaning with the right methods is
essential, as dangerous germs can cling to doorknobs, stethoscopes and counters for up to five
months. The Environmental Services Department
takes the results of the Clean-Trace tests into
consideration when investigating disinfection and
Though each device costs more than $2,500
and each test costs $4, the investment is essential
for patient safety.
“A hospital-acquired infection that occurs
after surgery can cost a family more than $27,000,”
Hodge said. “Many insurance companies do not
cover the costs of hospital-acquired infections
or readmissions. The Clean-Trace helps by
eliminating the risk for infections from germs.”
Charlotte Andaluz uses Clean-Trace to
make sure a bed is germ-free.
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by Cassidy Duckett
for X-rays, tests and sedation. She was the first Child Life
Specialist in that department and has earned the nickname
iPad Lady for her use of an iPad to distract patients
“I play with them to get them to drink the contrast,
which they usually don’t love to do,” she said. “We also use
simple terms to explain what will happen. When I say
‘spaghetti noodle’ to explain how big a catheter will be, I see
the anxiety in parents go down instantly. When the parents
are less stressed, the children are less stressed and vice versa.”
Because Children’s Hospital patients range from infants
to 21-year-olds, a Child Life Specialist must be prepared
with a wide variety of activities and distraction methods.
“Sometimes it’s to teach, familiarize and desensitize,”
said Kristin Wells, Child Life Specialist. “And sometimes
it’s just for fun—with no real purpose. You try to continually
assess what is going on at any given moment and do what
you can to help, support and comfort.”
The Child Life Department is an essential part of
Children’s Hospital’s focus on family-centered care. Led
by Mary Pegler, Director, the staff members are trained
specifically to play in a constructive, healing and educating
“We are teaching them coping skills to use when they
get anxious for the rest of their lives, like deep breathing,”
said McBride. “We play with them because that’s what
children do, and we want to normalize the hospital setting.”
For the Child Life Specialists, building relationships
through play and teaching has resulted in positive patient
and family interactions. Wells recalled a particularly touching
moment on Valentine’s Day: “The most amazing little boy
brought me a valentine. It said something about the flowers
needing the sun and the rain. As I was thanking him, his
mom said, ‘You make this easier for us. You make diabetes
easier for us.’ It tears me up to think of it again.”
At Children’s Hospital, 15 staff members are dedicated
to one crucial part of a child’s daily life: play. These
individuals serve as cheerleaders, confidantes and advocates
to patients who may be frightened by or unfamiliar with
the hospital setting. Beloved by patients, the Child Life
Specialists at Children’s Hospital believe in the power of
play as a method of healing, growing and developing.
This year, the Child Life Department celebrated its
35 anniversary at Children’s Hospital. The program began
in 1978 with longtime staff members Laura Barnes, now
the Vice President for Patient Care Services and Chief
Nursing Officer, and Eleanor Stevens. It was the first
program of its kind in Tennessee and predates the Child
Life Council, which is the governing body of the field.
Since then, the department has grown to cover all inpatient
units, the Emergency Department, outpatient clinics and
the Radiology Department.
“It’s what makes pediatric hospitals like us unique,”
said Shannon McBride, Child Life Specialist. “Patients and
families are usually anxious when they hear the word surgery,
but we try to prepare them and reduce their anxiety.”
To do so, the specialists provide age-appropriate,
hands-on explanations to demonstrate procedures, like
inserting an I.V.
“We give them teddy bears to practice finger pokes and
insulin shots so they can see how it works,” said McBride,
who works frequently with children diagnosed with diabetes.
“Patients are able to get control and realize that it’s not as
scary as it seems.”
Meredith Goodfellow, Child Life Specialist in the
Radiology Department, spends her days preparing children
Child Life Specialist Anna Taylor
spends time with Tatum Croft
and Abigail Godden.
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Pressnell s Golden Rules
Smile ... Don’t Judge ... Give patients the care you would like to have
by Cassidy Duckett
As a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse,
Andrew Pressnell doesn’t have a typical day.
In working with babies who have neonatal abstinence
syndrome (NAS), which causes them to be in withdrawal
from drugs, Pressnell faces a wide range of responsibilities
“I try to do anything I can to help the babies I am
caring for,” he said. “Sometimes it means holding them all
day if that eases their pain.”
Despite the stresses of his job, Pressnell sticks to three
rules: smile, don’t be judgmental and give patients the care
he would like to have. His rules seem to be paying off.
“I had a mother tell me once that no one in her own
family had ever been as nice. She said that all of us here at
the hospital had made her feel like a human,” he said.
The Claiborne County native comes from a long line
of nurses. Several of his family members work at Children’s
Hospital, but that’s not the only thing that drew him to the
“I think children, no matter the age, make me happy.
It never ceases to amaze me how resilient they are,”
Pressnell said. “No matter what they are here for, it is
amazing how they can bounce back.”
Outside of work, Pressnell spends time with his own
children, Addy, 4, and Aiden, 2. He enjoys fishing and
hunting, as well as cheering for the University of Tennessee
and the Atlanta Braves. His family lives in a house behind
his grandparents, causing his boxer, Chloe, to get a bit
“She can’t decide if she lives with them or me,”
Pressnell said. “She’s great about watching after everything.
She not only helps keep my kids safe, but I have also seen
her stand in the middle of the road to stop traffic while
my grandfather checks his mailbox.”
In looking toward the future, Pressnell wants to
complete another degree and teach caregivers and
families how to better take care of babies with NAS.
For now, though, he’s focusing on his three golden rules:
“I want every patient and family to remember that I always
smiled at them and was never judgmental, no matter the
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Son of Julie and Greg
How old are you? 8
Where do you go
to school? Alcoa
What do you do outside
of school? Sports like
basketball, gymnastics and
karate. He also plays chess, videogames and Legos, and
his favorite books are two series: Amulet and Bone.
What is your diagnosis? Type 1 diabetes
by Jessica Boyd
“At 5 years old, he was diagnosed with Type 1
diabetes,” Julie said. “We were fortunate to catch it early.”
The Ailshies were referred to Children’s Hospital by their
pediatrician. There, Julie and her husband Greg learned
about their son’s diagnosis by attending classes and
meeting with doctors and nurses. The Ailshies’ fears
were eased as they learned just how manageable Type
1 diabetes can be. “We realized, ‘OK, we’re going to get
through this,’” Greg said.
Now, their lifestyle has completely changed. The
Ailshies check Clayton’s blood sugar and send the
information to Carmen Tapiador, M.D. Clayton and his
parents monitor and manage his blood sugar with a
pump attached to Clayton’s stomach. The Ailshies keep
a log of everything he eats, watch his sugar at all times
and have appointments in the clinic every six months.
Clayton’s favorite part of Children’s Hospital is going
to a weeklong camp in the summer, and he also likes
spending time with the Child Life Specialists, which he
refers to as the play ladies.
Fifteen families are currently part
of our new Ambassador Program.
These families have graciously
volunteered to serve as examples
of why the work at Children’s
Hospital and all Children’s Miracle
Network Hospitals matters.
During their time as ambassadors,
the families will share their
personal stories with the
community through various
events and programs. In this issue,
we wanted to spotlight a few
of our new ambassadors.
Why did you agree to be an ambassador?
“Because Children’s Hospital is life-changing,” Julie said.
What has your experience with Children’s Hospital
been like? “It’s fun, and they’re there when you need
them,” Clayton said.
Julie agreed. “For people who are going through a
life-changing event or disease, it’s such a blessing.
Everyone is accessible and very compassionate. Every
case is individualized. They’re ready for you.”
Daughter of Bill and Sheri
How old are you? 13
Where do you go to
school? Jefferson Middle
School in Oak Ridge
What do you do outside
of school? Cheer, dance and
participate in pageants. She
was the Anderson County Fairest of the Fair Princess and
the Tennessee Valley Fair Princess.
How old are you? 6
What was your diagnosis? Juvenile idiopathic arthritis,
celiac disease and a pineal cyst
What do you do
outside of school?
Plays outside and with Legos
Son of Laurie and Kyle
Where do you go
to school? Karns
“At 13 months old, she started having problems walking,”
Sheri said. “Her personality changed. She started crying a lot,
almost 20 hours a day at one point.” Her walking began to
change. Her arms and legs stayed straight, so doctors
considered that it was a neurological condition. Eventually,
Jay Warrick, M.D., diagnosed Jordan with juvenile idiopathic
arthritis. “Everyone at Children’s was extremely caring and
positive,” Sheri said.
At 18 months old, Jordan began having trouble keeping
food down and became severely underweight. She was referred
to Youhanna Al-Tawil, M.D., at Children’s Hospital, and he
diagnosed the young girl with celiac disease. Following this
diagnosis, Jordan was referred to Joseph Peeden, M.D., who
became Jordan’s primary care pediatrician.
When Jordan was in the fourth grade, she began having
vision problems and getting dizzy. Dr. Peeden ordered a scan
that showed a cyst in her brain. She was referred to Christopher
Miller, M.D., who decided to monitor the cyst. Jordan comes to
Children’s Hospital regularly for treatments and testing. Her
parents believe Jordan is doing so well because of how early
she was diagnosed each time and the incredible continuous
care she receives.
Why did you agree to be an ambassador? “She wants to
promote the motto she lives by to other kids: Focus on your
ability and not your disability,” Sheri said.
What has your experience with Children’s Hospital been
like? “We are always treated with a great deal of respect,”
Sheri said. “Everyone is super optimistic—I think that’s a big
part of why Jordan has had such a positive outcome. There’s
no way we could have done this without the support of the staff
at Children’s Hospital. I truly believe the physicians and nurses
treat her the way they would treat their own children and everyone
treats us like family.”
What is your diagnosis? Leukemia
In March 2010, Taylor had very swollen lymph
nodes in his neck. His pediatrician thought it was an
infection and referred him to Children’s Hospital. A
few days before his biopsy at Children’s Hospital, his
fever spiked. After some testing, Ray Pais, M.D., did
a bone marrow biopsy. Taylor was diagnosed with
leukemia in June 2010 when he was 3 years old.
He immediately started chemo.
Now, three years later, Laurie said Taylor is in
remission, but his doctors continue to administer
chemo to make sure his cancer is gone. “Because
it’s a blood cancer, it can hide,” Laurie said. “He is
scheduled to be off treatment in August. For now,
he comes in once a month.”
Why did you agree to be an ambassador?
“To help get the word out about Children’s Hospital
and to let people know it’s a great option for your
kids,” Laurie said.
What has your experience with Children’s
Hospital been like? Taylor enjoys the crafts and
playing with iPads. “We have to come to the
Emergency Department every time he has a fever;
we’ve been here on Christmas,” Laurie said. “The
nurses remember us. They know his sensitivities
and know him.”
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Regal Foundation teams with Will Rogers
Institute for donation
The Regal Foundation, part of Regal Entertainment Group,
and the Will Rogers Institute recently donated $1 million to
Children’s Hospital. These funds will be used for state-of-the-art
equipment for cardio-pulmonary and respiratory needs as well
as equipment for the Radiology Department. Pictured above:
During a tour of Children’s Hospital, Echo Lab Coordinator
Craig Kendall conducted an equipment demonstration for Joe
Childs, M.D., Vice President of Medical Services at Children’s
Hospital; Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group;
Ted Cooper, President of the Will Rogers Institute; and Keith
Goodwin, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital.
Donation benefits Neurology Department
The Knoxville Civitan Club recently donated $4,000 to
Children’s Hospital. The money will be used to purchase iPads
and educational materials for patients. Pictured, at right, are
Jess Key, Co-Secretary; Mary Key, Co-Secretary; Harold
Marquand, Treasurer; Anthony Wallace, Director of Neurology
at Children’s Hospital; Hank Grubbs, President-elect; and
Kim Boggs, M.D., President.
Community contributes $251,180
Stars raise $119,729 dancing
Star 102.1’s Dancing with the Knoxville Stars raised
$119,729 for Children’s Hospital, breaking the event’s fundraising record since it began five years ago. The event was
March 22 at the Knoxville Expo Center. It featured local
celebrities performing a variety of dances with a professional
dance partner from Academy Ballroom. WBIR-10 News anchor
Russell Biven and his dance partner Emily Norris, pictured
above, were the champions this year, winning both the dance
competition as well as raising the most money for the event
This year’s Star 102.1 Radiothon for Children’s Hospital
raised $251,180. These donations will provide funding for
much-needed specialized pediatric medical equipment for the
tens of thousands of children who visit Children’s Hospital
The two-day event, which was April 11 and 12 at
West Town Mall, was hosted by Star 102.1 morning radio
personalities Marc, Kim and Frank. The families of several
Children’s Hospital patients were featured on-air during the
event, letting listeners hear from actual patients who will
benefit from their donations.
Pictured above: Kim Hansard plays with 13-month-old
Jaygen Graham before his family is interviewed during the
Radiothon. Jaygen has an immune deficiency disorder. He
does not fight off illness well. This makes him much more
susceptible to illnesses—even minor ones like a cold. It also
causes his body to burn calories that would normally be
used to help him grow. He is treated with feeding and
Reserve your Children’s Hospital license plate today
In a world of PINs, passwords and secret identification numbers, there is one
number that you can proudly share with everyone—it’s the four-digit number on a
new Children’s Hospital specialty license plate.
We hope you will consider helping the thousands of children served by
Children’s Hospital. In order for the plate to go into production, 1,000 plates must
be reserved; we only have a few months to meet this goal. You can reserve your
plate by calling (865) 541-8741. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Donate at www.etch.com
2018 Clinch Ave. • P.O. Box 15010
Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-5010
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
We always try to stay current with friends of the hospital.
If for any reason you should receive a duplicate issue or
need to update your address, please notify the hospital at
(865) 541-8723 or LAMadigan@etch.com
Peyton Manning Golf Classic
The Peyton Manning Golf Classic benefiting East
Tennessee Children’s Hospital and the PeyBack
Foundation will take place Monday, June 17, at Fox
Den Country Club in Knoxville. The format is a
four-player team swat (or best ball) and will be flighted
by team handicaps. Golfers can enjoy either a morning
or afternoon round, and each round is considered a
separate tournament with three flights. Manning,
quarterback for the National Football League’s Denver
Broncos, will visit with golfers throughout the day.
Call the Children’s Hospital Development Department
at (865) 541-8441 to register for the event or for more
information on sponsorship opportunities.