BlueCross Foundation Commits $1 Million To Neonatal Abstinence Fight

Thursday, August 28, 2014

In response to a surge of babies being born dependent on drugs and suffering the painful symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant for construction of a new NAS treatment unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.

“Our experience with our members has taught us how widespread a problem NAS is in East Tennessee,” said Scott Pierce, president and CEO of BlueCare Tennessee, BlueCross’ Medicaid subsidiary.

“Most of those babies wind up at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and it’s the right thing to do to help them upgrade their facilities to deal with this problem.”

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, there were 921 NAS births in the state during 2013. The vast majority of those cases were in upper East Tennessee, where the rate per 1,000 live births in five reporting areas averaged 36.3. The rate for the rest of the state is 3.8.

“Babies experiencing withdrawal symptoms need specialized doses of medication and constant supervision,” explained Carlton Long, Children’s Hospital vice president for development and community services. “Our new NAS unit will provide private rooms and a neighborhood care design. This will allow for better patient monitoring, better staff visualization of the unit and enhanced security. Our current NAS unit will be converted back into inpatient rooms.”

Babies with NAS often suffer painful tremors, sensitivity to light and diarrhea, among other symptoms.

The new NAS unit will, among other features, offer quiet, low-light spaces where trained volunteer cuddlers can hold and comfort the babies, a technique that helps them rest.  Construction of the NAS unit comes as part of a $75 million expansion project being undertaken at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Ground was broken for the expansion Aug. 19.





Reach Health And Wellness Chiropractic Opens In Collegedale

Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is the newest business to join the Collegedale and Ooltewah community. "The goal of Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic is to achieve outstanding results that enhance our patient’s quality of life and allow them to reach their optimal health through providing excellent care," said Dr. Ryan Lee, the practicing doctor for the new business.  ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Senior Living Promotes 3 To Vice President Leadership

Morning Pointe Senior Living announced three vice president promotions at its corporate office based in Ooltewah. Each of the roles provides support to 30 Morning Pointe Senior Living communities in five states, as well as regional staff and corporate associates. “We are very pleased to promote these associates who have given their hard work and dedication to Morning Pointe for ... (click for more)

Shaw Industries To Invest $42 Million At Decatur, Tn., Plant

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Shaw Industries Group, Inc. officials announced Friday that the floor products manufacturer will invest $42 million to upgrade its yarn facility in Decatur. Shaw plans create 75 new jobs in Meigs County as part of the investment. “I’d like to thank Shaw for its continued ... (click for more)

$125 Million County School Building Plan Includes Shifting CSLA To Tyner Middle; Combining Tyner High/Middle; New Harrison Elementary, New East Hamilton Middle

Hamilton County School officials on Thursday unveiled a $125 million building plan that includes moving the Chattanooga School for the Liberal Arts to the current Tyner Middle School, which will undergo a major renovation. Tyner Middle will move across the street into Tyner High School. Both Tyner buildings have been under-utilized for a number of years. There will also be ... (click for more)

Managed Hunting Is Necessary In Maintaining A Stable Deer Population - And Response

I enjoy seeing the whitetail deer that we have in so many areas here in East Tennessee, but here in Hamilton County we have been approaching the maximum habitat sustainability in some places including the Enterprise South area. I make this statement due to the fact that I have seen up to 20 deer driving around in Hixson in one evening during the summer. I believe that TWRA is doing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: At Last! New Schools

In this me-me-me-only-me world of today, we-we-we-finally got a thrilling $125 million facility plan for the Hamilton County Department of Education on Thursday night. The School Board unanimously approved a well-thought-out “first Band-Aid” that will provide a new elementary school in Harrison, middle schools in East Hamilton and Howard, and a quite-satisfactory answer to move ... (click for more)