Let's Make The Dream Of A New Children's Hospital A Reality - And Response (2)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I have worked at T.C.Thompson Children’s Hospital since 1986. When I started, the current building was only 11 years old. Over the last 28 years, the pediatric patient population has increased, technology has improved, and physician practices have become more specialized. 

The space has not changed. There have been multiple renovation projects to the current hospital, but the patient rooms are the same size today as they were in 1975. The PICU bed spaces are inadequate for all the newest most up to date technologies. Parents have no place to stay with their critically ill children, and the waiting room is extremely small. Every inch of square footage has been designated for patient care use. Storage space is limited, and nurses get creative moving items on a daily basis. 

There is a large oncology population in our region. These kids are placed in specialized patient rooms, but could definitely use their own floor, with specialized pharmacy, nurses, treatment areas, and playrooms. We need more patient rooms for the acutely ill, we need a technology dependent unit for that increasing population, and an observation unit would be an asset for both patient flow and surgical services. The bottom line is we could fill a brand new hospital today with the needs and wants of patients, their families, and the staff.

Chattanooga is a city that rises to challenges and critical needs. A new Children’s Hospital for our region is both. We need a safe, fun, non-threatening space to care for the children of our region. We need large rooms, bright common areas, and outdoor patios and play places for both the patients and the staff. 

We have the best, and brightest pediatric doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and specialized staff of any children’s hospital in the Southeast. We just need a new hospital to make it even better. In the movie “Field of Dreams”, the quote was “If we build it, they will come”.  Please Chattanooga..Help us make our dream a reality.

Lori K. Atchley, RN, PICU 

Hixson

* * * 

Why should the city pick up the tab for building a new facility?  Does the city own T.C. Thompson? 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against a new facility.  I just think it is wrong for private industry to expect the government to take money from its own citizens to improve a facility.  I also don’t believe the city should own T.C. Thompsons.

Thank you,

Robert Harvey
Chattanooga 

* * * 

In response to Mr. Harvey’s comments, I would like to clarify several statements on behalf of the Erlanger Foundations.  First, Erlanger is not asking the city and/or county to “pick up the tab” for a new facility.  Instead, Erlanger would raise the money from a combination of philanthropy and long-term debt, such as a mortgage loan.  This is how 99 percent of the children’s hospitals in the U.S. are funded. 

In essence, the city does not “own” Erlanger.  It’s a county facility that is “not for profit” and basically belongs to everyone in the community.  

We agree with Mr. Harvey that “it is wrong for private industry to expect the government to take money from its own citizens to improve a facility.”  We agree and are not asking for that to happen. 

Moreover, we also agree with the statement, “I also don’t believe the city should own T.C. Thompsons.”  Ideally Erlanger should ultimately be a “public benefit corporation” that not only stands on its own financial strength but also receives some compensation for the care it provides to those who have no ability to pay for care. 

Jim Levine
Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Foundation Board



It's Raining Cats And Dogs, So Who Cares?

Approximately half of Hamilton County residents reside in Chattanooga. That half pays double property tax for that great privilege. Chattanooga's city tax dollars fund the McKamey Animal Shelter and their county taxes supply more than half of the funds provided for a Humane Society that does not serve them.  The complexity and cost of care required to collect stray ... (click for more)

Why The 2-Sided Sidewalk On Wide And Busy Highway 58?

I don’t know if it's the state or the city of Chattanooga that is spending a lot of money to build sidewalks and/or bike trails on Highway 58 (from Webb Road to Jersey Pike). We will have the finest walking/biking sidewalk that crosses at least a dozen businesses with heavy traffic and at best you have to cross six lanes of traffic to get to the other side to catch the sidewalk ... (click for more)

Driver Of Fleeing Truck Almost Hits Patrol Vehicle Of Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson; Gooch Arrested After Wreck

Deputies with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office took an area man into custody on Friday afternoon after the stolen truck he was driving forced Sheriff Eric Watson to take evasive action to avoid striking the vehicle.   Sheriff Watson was patrolling in the area of Bates Pike when an alert was issued for a light blue F-150 pickup truck for a possible vandalism in progress. ... (click for more)

Man Drove On Pineville Railroad Tracks Trying To Flee Police

Chattanooga Police Officer Giuseppe Troncone didn’t try to follow a 49-year-old man who tried to escape by driving his Cadillac on railroad tracks in the Pineville area, according to an affidavit filed in Hamilton County Criminal Sessions Court. Instead, he soon caught up with Alvin Donell Davis just by driving along East Elmwood Drive toward the “cloud of smoke coming from the ... (click for more)

Baylor School Hires Tennessee Wesleyan’s Billy Berry As New Varsity Baseball Coach

Baylor School has announced that Tennessee Wesleyan’s Billy Berry , the 2012 NAIA National Coach of the Year, is the new varsity coach for the Red Raider baseball program.   Berry replaces Gene Etter, who announced his retirement this spring after 41 seasons as the Red Raiders head coach. “The quality of this applicant pool was fantastic. Billy is a national ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Advances To National Amateur Championship

The Chattanooga Football Club beat the Maryland Bays 2-0 Friday night in the second semifinal game of the 2014 National Amateur Championships here in Chattanooga. Chattanooga advances to play the Michigan Bucks Saturday night at 7:30 in the championship. The two teams are competing for the Hank Steinbrecher Trophy which is awarded to the top amateur team in the nation.   ... (click for more)