The Impact of Giving

Current Priority Projects

Children's Hospital Overnight Room Renovations

Around 3,000 kids will stay overnight at Children’s Hospital for care this year. Many will stay a week, a month or--for some--much longer. Sick and injured kids deserve a place that feels more like home: A place that is nurturing and lets them still feel like a kid while their bodies heal. Renovating the overnight rooms at Children’s Hospital would create rooms filled with bright yellow, comforting blue and fun orange. Whimsical murals on the walls would be fun and inviting. Older children would have comfortable, new “Smart Beds” that
include electronic controls to adjust the bed, to turn lights on and off and to control the television. These special beds also feature built-in scales, so fragile patients would no longer have to be moved to check their weight. Comfortable chairs that pull out into sleepers would make it easier for moms and dads to stay by a child’s side to provide comfort and companionship. Each room would also have a special modular wall behind the bed to hide clinical supplies like gloves and bins for used needles, so rooms would feel more like bedrooms and less like clinical spaces. The total project cost for this complete renovation project is $1.8 million. Click here to read the full case statement.  

Want to help?

You can purchase items, or shares of items for the room renovations at our Foundation E-store. Choose the "Shop for Miracles: Room Renovations" category.

Pastoral care helps patients open up and heal where they hurt

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, spirituality is a recognized factor that contributes to health. In fact, the concept of spirituality is something that is found in all cultures and societies.

“We operate with the belief that everybody is spiritual,” said Olen Grubbs, Pastoral Care and Education Director at Erlanger Health System. But, until now, pastoral care has not been part of the multi-disciplinary team making decisions and offering support and expertise early on in a patient’s care. “There’s been a gap in our ability to be most helpful in the care of patients,” said Donna Herrick, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Supervisor at Erlanger. “From a chaplain’s perspective, we needed to be on the front side. We were not inserted early enough to be effective.”

Now, Erlanger Health System and UT College of Medicine have initiated a pilot program in pastoral care that includes two full-time chaplains to be a part of the multi-disciplinary team. They will visit with patients in the hospital and in their homes. “It’s the life story that brings them to the admission,” said Donna. “Sometimes patients will say something to a chaplain they wouldn’t say to anyone else. “There’s a level of trust. The care then changes.” The pastoral care pilot program includes the addition of two full-time chaplains who are working in three key areas – clinical care, education and spiritual support.

As part of clinical care, the chaplains visit with patients in the hospital and in their homes. They also provide spiritual assessments and work with the multi-disciplinary team in assessing holistic care needs of identified patients and their families. The chaplains are also educators, participating in teaching rounds with medical students and residents and presenting as part of the UT medical education curriculum. They are also researching the subject of “Religion, Spirituality and Health” and will report their findings to health professionals.

To fund the pastoral care pilot program for two years, the Baroness Erlanger Foundation is seeking gifts totaling $274,000. To find out more how you can be a part of spirituality in healthcare, call Erlanger Health System Foundations at 423-778-6600.

Child Life

The unfamiliar sights and sounds of a hospital can be intimidating for first-time patients, particularly children. At Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, trained pediatric healthcare professionals called “Child Life Specialists” help soothe the anxieties of children and their families by making hospital stays more welcoming and understandable. These professionals ease a child’s fears, explain illness or disease in understandable terms, describe and demonstrate what will happen in a procedure and provide emotional support. They engage patients in fun and games that can be soothing and that distract children during procedures and tests. Child Life Specialists also create an environment that supports kids being kids by providing safe playrooms teeming with toys, maintaining a library filled with both children’s books and reference guides for parents and facilitating many activities for children including art, music therapy and pet therapy. Through the support of generous partners, the foundation provides the annual operating budget for Child Life including toys, art supplies, patient celebrations, music therapy, books and other resources including care beads as demonstrated by Cody in the picture to the right.

Click here to read the case statement. 
Click here to view the Child Life wish list.

Greatest Needs

Every year, departments across the hospital have the opportunity to request funds from the Foundation to fulfill particular service lines needs to help improve patient outcomes. Unrestricted gifts not only help advance the projects listed above, they help us fulfill our department's greatest needs. Notable request fulfillments in our past fiscal year include bottle warmers for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that help prevent valuable nutrients from being lost, car seats to ensure a safer community and Emergency Medical Residency program support.