Our hospital began as a dream, partnering with an existing facility for children and committed volunteers, and ultimately laying a strong foundation to become the state-of-the-art, stand-alone facility that opened in 2004.
The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt's story begins in 1968 and like any masterful work, its progress has occurred in marked phases. Visit our Historical Timeline page for more details.
Vanderbilt Medical School faculty member David T. Karzon, M.D. had a vision to create an entire hospital that would serve the healthcare needs of children and pioneer significant change in the area of pediatrics. Karzon, who eventually chaired the Pediatrics Department of Vanderbilt Hospital, developed the mind-set of a "hospital within a hospital" model and established various centers within the main hospital that specialized in children's services.
Within two years, the brand-new Children's Regional Medical Center was formed, adopting a three-prong vision:
- To deliver the highest quality medical care to children
- To create a special environment for children and their families
- To serve as a resource that is responsive to the community
In the Fall of 1971, a group of community-minded women approached Dr. Karzon about forming a support group of volunteers who would raise funds and create public awareness, and the Friends of Children's Hospital was made official one year later.
The dream continues
For a dream to have a lasting effect, there must be a committed, focused team that understands its goal. In 1980, this team met its goal when the Children’s Hospital facility was completed, and all patients residing in the Children’s Hospital and Junior League Home for Crippled Children were housed under one roof. Learn more about the Junior League of Nashville.
The founding medical director for Children's Hospital was the man who held tight to the dream longer than anyone: Dr. David Karzon. He served for many years and was succeeded in 1988 by Ian Burr, M.D. Under Dr. Burr’s leadership, Children's Hospital grew to include more than 29 sub-specialties. Dr. Burr played a vital role in planning the new Children’s Hospital.
The latest chapter
While we continue to move forward, we are excited about the opportunities and possibilities that are ahead. Our freestanding hospital opened in February 2004 and was expanded in 2012. Visit Our Facility.
This hospital was designed with you in mind: family-friendly and sensitive to the fact that many people are involved in the healing process, not just medical professionals. We believe that involving everyone—staff, family, friends, patients—creates a seamless system that results in optimum care for our children.
We are a work in progress, but there is one thing that will never change. We will always be committed to provide the best possible care to children.
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