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Junior League gift boosts sickle cell, asthma fight

By Jeremy Rush
August 2012

In a special event celebrating the Junior League of Nashville’s 90th year of support to children’s health in the Nashville community and its longstanding partnership with Vanderbilt University, the organization committed $1.5 million to the 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 model treatment facility to be located at the Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center in Nashville.

“The Junior League has been in partnership with Children’s Hospital from the very beginning. This generous commitment will benefit the health of children throughout Middle Tennessee and is both gratifying and highly consistent with the organization’s long-standing history for supporting high impact programs and services,” said Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Photo by Steve Green

Photo by Steve Green

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.
“The Junior League has an outstanding track record of caring for children, both in the Nashville community and here at Children’s Hospital,” said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer for Children’s Hospital.
Michael DeBaun, M.D., MPH, J.C. Peterson Professor of 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.”

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