A community hospital, in the best sense of the wordThe expansion at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt will have a lasting impact on the Middle Tennessee community. And the support from that community will have a lasting impact on the hospital. More than 335 donors, companies, foundations and organizations provided $13 million to the project.
“Nashville is a great community,” says Richard W. “Rick” Dreiling, chairman and CEO of Dollar General and also chair of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Board. “Our people are genuine, and we actively work to make our community better. The hospital is an outgrowth of that, and we’re very excited to be a part of its future.”
Dollar General Corporation is giving more than $1 million to benefit the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, part of Children’s Hospital’s 33-bed, 30,000-square-foot addition. “Every time you see a child who is struggling from premature birth or a disability, it reinforces this belief that every child should have the same start in life,” he says. “Every child deserves to be healthy and get an education.”
For Martha Ezell, a nurse educator and a board member of Children’s Hospital, her support springs from personal experience. Her family’s long relationship with Monroe Carell Jr. sparked their interest in the hospital.
“We are so very fortunate to have a resource like Children’s Hospital right here in our community,” Ezell says. “We are one of the many families in this area who have a Vanderbilt story. We are blessed to be able to support the hospital.”
The family made a gift to name a patient room on the Pediatric Critical Care Unit to honor pediatric cardiologist Vernat Exil, M.D.
The impact of gifts from community supporters will be felt for decades to come, says Susie Stalcup, vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Relations. “Vanderbilt made a bold commitment to children’s health when it began this expansion project during the economic recession, and our supporters made that bold commitment together with us,” she says. “The opportunity to expand our capacity to care for patients and families will be transformative. By caring for the children who need us the most, we are creating a brighter future for all of us.”