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Growing to New Heights

Posted by on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 in Giving in Action, Vanderbilt Community, Winter 2015 .

The Carell daughters (L to R), Kathryn Brown, Edie Johnson and Julie Stadler.  Photo by Anne Rayner.
The Carell daughters (L to R), Kathryn Brown, Edie Johnson and Julie Stadler. Photo by Anne Rayner.

In October, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt launched the Growing to New Heights fundraising campaign in support of a four-floor building expansion that will help advance the size and scope of the hospital’s specialized pediatric health care programs.

Patients and their families, along with community supporters and Vanderbilt University officials, gathered to celebrate Children’s Hospital’s longstanding commitment to healing and discovery, and to embrace the challenge to continue to serve the health care needs of more children as Middle Tennessee’s population continues to grow.

The cornerstone of the Growing to New Heights Campaign is a $10 million gift from the daughters of Monroe Carell Jr., the hospital’s namesake, and his wife, Ann Scott Carell, both now deceased. The gift was given by Kathryn Carell Brown, Julie Carell Stadler, Edie Carell Johnson and their families.

“My sisters and I are honored to build on our parents’ legacy and ensure that the Children’s Hospital continues to be so helpful to our community. No child asks to be sick, and we have to care for them in any way we can,” Brown said.

“My parents would be amazed at how much the hospital has grown in 10 years, both in size and reputation, and would be so thankful for how much the community has supported it over the years. But the fact is, the hospital is always full, and we want to make certain that it continues to grow and thrive.”

The goal of the Growing to New Heights Campaign is to raise $30 million over three years to create funds that will support the $100 million total estimated cost of the building’s expansion. As of January, more than $24 million has been committed, representing 80 percent of the fundraising goal.

The new construction, when fully completed, will add 160,000 square feet of additional space atop the hospital’s existing structure. The new space will provide the necessary square footage to meet the future health care needs of the children and families of Tennessee and across the nation.

The freestanding hospital opened in 2004, and in May 2012 a $30 million, 30,000-square-foot, 33-bed expansion was opened that created capacity for additional acute care, surgical and neonatal intensive care services.

The Growing to New Heights Campaign, chaired by Kathryn Carell Brown, is co-chaired by community leaders Kix Brooks, entertainer, radio host and entrepreneur; Rick Dreiling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dollar General Corporation; Steven Hostetter, Chief Executive Officer, TriStar Energy LLC; Bob Rolfe, Chief Executive Officer, Medical Reimbursements of America, Inc.; and Clarence Spalding, President, Spalding Entertainment.

The Carell sisters are joined by their spouses and children in this leadership gift to Growing to New Heights. Family members include: Kathryn and David Brown and their children, Carell and Nicholas Brown; Julie and George Stadler and their children, Claire Lawhorne and her husband, Tom, and Monroe Stadler; and Edie and David Johnson and their children, William and Ann Scott Johnson.

Monroe Carell Jr. was the former chairman of Central Parking Corporation, and he and Ann were longtime philanthropic leaders in Nashville. They shared a deep commitment to the children of Middle Tennessee and were instrumental in fundraising for the freestanding Children’s Hospital.

Construction on the new tower is expected to begin in 2015.