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Recent high school graduate raises over $19,000 for Children’s Hospital

Yogi Anderson, Erlanger Foundation Major Gifts Officer; Cindy Rhodes, Children’s Hospital Administrator; and Alan Kohrt, M.D., Children’s Hospital Medical Director accept a check from Lauren Johnson as a donation for the Children’s Hospital patient rooms renovation.

Yogi Anderson, Erlanger Foundation Major Gifts Officer; Cindy Rhodes, Children’s Hospital Administrator; and Alan Kohrt, M.D., Children’s Hospital Medical Director accept a check from Lauren Johnson as a donation for the Children’s Hospital patient rooms renovation.

Chattanooga, Tenn. – Lauren Johnson, a 2013 valedictorian graduate from Baylor School, recently combined her interest in golf and charity work and raised over $19,000 for Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. With support from Chattanooga Golf and County Club, Baylor School and golf team, and Children’s Hospital, Lauren organized the first Chattanooga for Children’s Hospital golf tournament.

When Lauren thought about her senior project, she knew she wanted to incorporate golf. She and her teammates won the state championships in 2009, 2010 and 2012. When it came to deciding what she wanted to support, it did not take her long to choose the Children’s Hospital room renovation project.

“Since my father is a physician, I would spend a lot of time at the hospital,” said Lauren. It moved me every time I thought about children staying over night in the hospital. As I was researching for my project, I saw the Children’s Hospital room renovation and loved the idea.”

The tournament was held at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club on April 29. Eighty-eight players participated with many more individuals supporting through donations.

“It is pretty noteworthy how Lauren was able to accomplish so much at the end of her senior year,” said Yogi Anderson, Major Gifts Officer for Erlanger Foundations. “Not only was she concentrating on her studies and becoming a valedictorian, she had AP exams, end-of-school-year activities, golf tournaments and graduation. It is remarkable that she also raised over $19,000 for our children’s hospital. We are so grateful for her tireless efforts and generous support.”

Lauren’s senior project won the Leadership Capstone Award from Baylor School. When asked about her recognition, she said she could not have done it without everyone’s assistance and support from MetalTek International, Tennessee Oncology, Blood Assurance, Raymond James, Chattanooga Ear, Nose, & Throat Associates, Southeastern Spine and Dr. Jay Jolley, Hamico, Inc, Kelly Cars and Coca Cola.


Local Hyundai Dealer, Nelson Long; Dr. Jennifer Keates; Region Manager, Mark McClung; Dr. Manoo Bhakta; and other Hyundai representatives present $75,000 grant to Children's Hospital.

Local Hyundai Dealer, Nelson Long; Dr. Jennifer Keates; Region Manager, Mark McClung; Dr. Manoo Bhakta; and other Hyundai representatives during presentation of the $75,000 grant to Children’s Hospital.

Chattanooga, Tenn. – June 19, 2013 – Hyundai Hope On Wheels® and Chattanooga-area Hyundai dealers awarded a $75,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant to the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to develop Southeast Tennessee’s first Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic. Dr. Jennifer Keates, a pediatric oncologist from Children’s Hospital, is one of 40 recipients of Hope On Wheels’ 2013 Hyundai Scholar Grant, which supports principal investigators known as Hyundai Scholars. Hyundai Scholars pursue research and implement clinical programs aimed at improving the lives of children battling pediatric cancer.

Over the course of 2013, Hope On Wheels will donate $14 million to children’s hospitals nationwide through its Hyundai Scholar Grant and Hyundai Hope Grant programs. Celebrating its 15th year, Hope On Wheels will surpass $72 million in total donations to pediatric cancer research and programs since its inception in 1998.

Dr. Bhakta during handprint ceremony.

Dr. Bhakta during handprint ceremony.

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our local Hyundai dealers for allowing us to fulfill a much needed service to the cancer patients in our region,” said Dr. Manoo Bhakta, Children’s Hospital Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division Chief. “Approximately 45 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed and treated at Children’s Hospital each year, and we continue to treat and follow the patients’ progress throughout their teenage and adult years. This opportunity to create a Pediatric Cancer Survivorship Clinic will help support our program for years to come.”

“This grant from Hyundai will be an extension of my research to follow pediatric cancer patients throughout their care,” said Dr. Jennifer Keates, Assistant Clinical Professor and oncology specialist at Children’s Hospital. “My studies will help researchers understand how cancer treatments have lasting effects in children as they grow older while also providing solutions to improve education and treatments for future generations.”

Dr. Keates during handprint ceremony.

Dr. Keates during handprint ceremony.

The $75,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant to the center will be officially presented during a Hope On Wheels Handprint Ceremony at the hospital on Thursday, June 20 at 10 a.m. During the ceremony, Chattanooga-area children battling cancer will place their handprints dipped in colorful paint on a white 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the official vehicle of Hope On Wheels. Every Handprint Ceremony celebrates the courageous lives of children with cancer and brings Hope On Wheels’ community of supporters together.

“Hyundai and its dealers remain committed to helping children in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said John Krafcik, President and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “We are dedicated to providing crucial research dollars that will lead to finding cures and better treatment protocols for these precious children impacted by cancer. While cure rates approach 80 percent for some forms of pediatric cancer, far too many children and families are devastated by the disease. We are proud of our 15-year milestone for Hyundai Hope On Wheels, and remain keenly aware that there is much more work to be done.”

Hope On Wheels builds public awareness about the importance of this cause and provides funds to nonprofit children’s hospitals across the U.S. for pediatric cancer research. The nonprofit is funded by Hyundai and its U.S. dealers. With every new vehicle sold in the U.S., Hyundai and its dealers make a contribution to Hope On Wheels.

A new Hope On Wheels program encourages the public to show its support and raise awareness by “Giving Hope a Hand.” To participate in the program, supporters can simply take a picture of their hand and post it on their social media pages using the hashtag #GiveHopeAHand.

For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels, please visit
You can also join us on Facebook and Twitter, by visiting or For more information about the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, please visit


Nelson Long paints Misty Lacey’s hands for the handprint ceremony


Maurques Thompson

Maurques Thompson



Madison Brooks



Sergio Velez


Melody Hudson


Audrey Robbins



Dr. Jennifer Keates, Dr. Manoo Bhakta, and Nelson Long

A video of the presentation can be viewed by clicking

Hyundai Hope On Wheels® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Launched in 1998, Hyundai Hope On Wheels provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide that are pursuing life-saving research and innovative treatments for the disease. Primary funding for Hyundai Hope On Wheels comes from Hyundai Motor America and its more than 800 U.S. dealers. At the end of its 15th year, Hyundai Hope On Wheels will have awarded more than $72 million towards childhood cancer research in pursuit of a cure.

The Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders Center is Southeast Tennessee’s only accredited pediatric cancer center. The center is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group, offering patients enrollment options in cancer treatment protocols, and providing a total care approach to all children diagnosed with cancer in the four-state region. Ninety-five percent of children in our region diagnosed with cancer receive treatment at our center, regardless of the ability to pay.

As the only medical center in the Chattanooga and tri-state region devoted solely to children, T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger provides the best in children’s healthcare by viewing the world from a unique perspective of children and understanding what they need. Children’s Hospital is a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center, the highest designation in the state for pediatrics. The hospital offers a full range of pediatric subspecialists, as well as a pediatric ER, ICU, and Level III neonatal intensive care unit, providing the highest level of care in the region for premature and sick infants.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai’s 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides Hyundai owners with proactive safety and car care services made possible by the Hyundai Blue Link telematics platform, complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit
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Erlanger Earns Cycle IV Chest Pain Accreditation with PCI – What does that mean to you?

Patients who arrive at Erlanger’s Emergency Department complaining of chest pain or discomfort receive the immediate treatment necessary to avoid as much heart damage as possible. Our state-of-the-art heart care works seamlessly with area emergency medical services and other departments to ensure you get the treatment you need during the critical early stages of a heart attack.

In recognition of Erlanger’s heart care services, Erlanger received the Cycle IV Chest Pain Center Accreditation with Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) on May 9, 2013. PCI is commonly known as angioplasty, a procedure used to treat narrowed arteries found in coronary heart disease. The Cycle IV accreditation, awarded for a three-year period, is the highest and most difficult level of certification to achieve. Erlanger is the first and only facility in the region to earn the Cycle IV accreditation.

To achieve the highest level of accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, Erlanger underwent a rigorous re-evaluation and refinement of heart care processes that integrate the industry’s best practices and newest standards into its cardiac care services.

Erlanger team members who works endlessly to ensure Erlanger provides superior cardiac care for patients in our community.

Erlanger team members who works endlessly to ensure Erlanger provides superior cardiac care for patients in our community.

Third Annual Jack’s Chattanoggins raises money for Children’s Hospital at Erlanger

ChattanogginsChattanooga, Tenn. – It’s that time of year when the shears come out and the hair falls to raise money for pediatric oncology patients throughout the Chattanooga region. The third annual Jack’s Chattanoggins will take place on Sunday, June 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chattanooga Market.

This is the third year 14-year-old Jack Skowronnek will partner with the Children’s Hospital. Jack began shaving his head and raising awareness for pediatric cancer at just 10 years old after reading the book, Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. Since then, he has raised more than $60,000 to help children fight cancer. This year mark’s Jack’s fifth personal event.

Jack is hoping to raise $40,000 after raising $35,000 in 2012. All donations will support Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and help advance key projects such as the inpatient room renovations for oncology patients and programs like the Child Life Department. This year, more than 50 children in Chattanooga will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 95 percent of them will rely on the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for treatment.

“This fundraiser is particularly special to Jack, as we remember Kennedy “The Warrior” Griffith who went to heaven on Dec. 18.” said Jack’s mother, Dawn Skowronnek. “We are continually humbled when families of cancer patients thank us for what we do for them. It’s truly amazing.”

This year’s event is presented by EPB and Fox 61 and supported by sponsors such as Brewer Media, Texas Roadhouse, Fantastic Sams, Chattanooga Roller Girls, Brix Nouveau Wine & Cheese Bar, Pure Sodaworks, L2 Images and Le Chef Amour’s Haute Cuisine.

“EPB is proud to support Jack’s Chattanoogins for the second year because 100 percent of the funds raised stay right here in our community helping to care for the children at Children’s Hospital Center for Childhood Cancer,” said EBP community relations specialist, Hosea Pierce. “We believe in enhancing the quality of life in our community even if it’s one child at a time.”

The public is encouraged to sign up as a shavee and seek donations from their family and friends. Shavees will shave their head on June 9 in solidarity with the children who lose their hair during treatment. Those who prefer to keep their locks can help support a shavee by pledging financially.

For more information on Jack’s Chattanoggins and to register or donate, visit

chattanoggins group

Doll donation to benefit program for abused children at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger

DSC_0351When Dr. Church heard that Carol Cain was looking for good homes for the massive doll collection she and her mother had accumulated, the Children’s Hospital doctor asked if some of them could be donated to the sexually abused children treated at Children’s Hospital, as well as to the Children’s Advocacy Center. Ms. Cain was so moved by Dr. Church’s work with abused children that she donated her entire collection of 205 dolls to our hospital and CAC. “For the children to have something they can hold and hug after it’s all over – it can be a very positive influence that lasts beyond the clinic,” said Dr. Church, who serves on the CAC board. Members of the Cain family unloaded two truckloads of dolls when they arrived at Children’s Hospital.


Publix Super Markets in the Chattanooga area is encouraging customers to make a donation at the register for Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, a member of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The campaign will help provide needed treatment, services, equipment and charitable care to sick and injured children treated at Chattanooga’s only children’s hospital.

2013 marks the 21 years that Publix associates and customers will rally to help hospitals like Children’s Hospital at Erlanger through the purchase of $1, $3 and $5 icons at store checkouts. In addition to helping fund a variety of life-saving treatments and services, Publix customers can receive valuable in-store coupons as an incentive for their donation.

“No one understands the importance of local giving and impact better than Publix customers and employees, and no one is more deserving than children who enter a hospital for critical treatment,” said John Lauck, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals president and CEO. “We’re thrilled that with new supermarket openings over the past year, Publix is now able to help 21 of our member hospitals, including Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, provide the absolute best in pediatric care.”

Visit to locate your nearest market and to help make miracles for kids this spring.

About Children’s Hospital at Erlanger
Children’s Hospital, part of the Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is the region’s only Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center, the highest designation in the state. Children’s Hospital has physicians in virtually every pediatric subspecialty and region’s only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The Level III Neonatal Intensive Care unit provides the region’s highest level of care for premature and sick infants. Children’s Hospital is affiliated with the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.

About Publix Super Markets, Inc.
Publix is privately owned and operated by its 158,000 employees, with 2012 sales of $27.5 billion. Currently Publix has 1,069 supermarkets in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. The company has been named one of FORTUNE’s “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” for 15 consecutive years. In addition, Publix’s dedication to superior quality and customer service is recognized as tops in the grocery business, most recently by an American Customer Satisfaction Index survey. For more information, visit the company’s website,

About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4.7 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at


Erlanger Health System and Erlanger/Sodexo Food and Nutrition Services recently collected and donated the equivalent of 6.2 tons of nonperishable food and cash to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank during the annual 2013 Servathon Food Drive.

According to Jonathan Darling, General Manager of the Erlanger/Sodexo Food Services Department, $2,381.10 and 510 pounds of food were collected during the food drive. Erlanger employees and associates formed more than 20 teams for collecting the food and cash donations over a two-week period in May.

Darling presented the donations to Buck Gentry, Chief Financial Officer of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, at the close of the Servathon Campaign on May 22. “The Chattanooga Food Bank was very pleased and appreciative of the results. The donations will go a long way to providing food to over 20,000 local residents of Chattanooga who utilize the food bank each and every week,” Darling said.

Over the last six years, the annual Servathon Food Drive at Erlanger has resulted in the equivalent of 100,000 pounds of nonperishable food donations to the local Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Photo captions:
Servathon photo 1:
Buck Gentry, left, Chief Financial Officer of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, accepts a $2,381.10 check from Jonathan Darling, General Manager of the Erlanger/Sodexo Food Service Department. The Erlanger/Sodexo annual Servathon Food Drive donated the equivalent of 6.2 tons of food and cash to the Chattanooga Food Bank.

Servathon photo 2:
Members of the Erlanger /Sodexo Food Service Department celebrate the success of the group’s 2013 Servathon Food Drive with Buck Gentry, Chief Financial Officer of the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, left, and Jonathan Darling, General Manager of the Erlanger/Sodexo Food Service Department.


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