Junior League gift boosts sickle cell, asthma fight
April 24, 2012
Jeremy Rush, (615) 322-4747
Event Celebrates Junior League of Nashville's 90 Years of Unwavering Support to Children's Health in Nashville
In a special event celebrating the Junior League of Nashville's 90th year of support to children's health in our community and its 41st year of partnership with Vanderbilt University, the organization committed $1.5 million to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt to care for children with sickle cell disease and asthma.
The funds will help establish the Junior League Sickle Cell Disease and Asthma Program, a medical home devoted to caring for patients with sickle cell disease and asthma located at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center in Nashville.
The innovative medical home model brings together physicians, nurse practitioners and nurse case managers from Children's Hospital and Meharry Medical College to provide family-centered care to the community. With support services, educational resources and personalized care available under one roof, the program will help reduce health care costs and improve access for patients who require long-term treatment.
Michael DeBaun, M.D., MPH, J.C. Peterson Chair in Pediatric Pulmonology, professor of Pediatrics and director of the Vanderbilt-Meharry-Matthew Walker Center for Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease, said many children with sickle cell disease often struggle with asthma, and this community-based program will create one standard of care for children battling these chronic illnesses.
"We are extremely grateful for the unwavering support of the Junior League of Nashville," said DeBaun. "The funds will help provide a new paradigm of family-centered care for an underserved and deserving population of children."
The Junior League of Nashville's partnership with Vanderbilt began in 1923 with the opening of the Junior League Home for Crippled Children. The home provided free convalescent and rehabilitative medical care for children with polio and other diseases. The home was later moved to the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in 1971, now called the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.
In addition, the Junior League of Nashville has provided generous financial support to Children's Hospital since 1971, with recent gifts providing capital to help build the freestanding Children's Hospital as well as funding for the Junior League Fetal Care Center.
Today, Junior League volunteers give countless hours of service to programs at Children's Hospital, including-- the Junior League Family Resource Center, Junior League Child Life Specialist Program, Neonatal Intensive Care Development Follow-up Clinic, Junior League Therapeutic Arts Program, Junior League Fetal Care Program and more.
"This gift honors our long-standing relationship and commitment to children's health and the Nashville community," said Michele Toungette, president of the Junior League of Nashville.
"We were inspired by Dr. DeBaun's vision, and we feel that the Sickle Cell Disease and Asthma Program continues the Junior League's roots of supporting compassionate, home-based care," she said.
"We look forward to supporting the program with our volunteers as well, helping provide education and support services for women and children in a myriad of capacities."
The Junior League Sickle Cell Disease and Asthma Program at Children's Hospital will augment the mission of the Vanderbilt-Meharry-Matthew Walker Center of Excellence in Sickle Cell Disease. For more information, visit http://www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/sicklecell or call (615) 936-1762.