Mission Moment

Published on November 10th, 2022 by Christina Echegaray.

Summer months brought longer days, more free time and moments where we could hit the ‘pause’ button to reflect and embrace traditions, even as we looked forward to the return of routines, like school for kids and football for adults. The past two-plus years have most likely disrupted some of your pause routines. As we shift seasons to bright colors, shorter days and approaching holidays, we invite you to curl up in your favorite chair with a cup of spiced tea or hot cider and pause as we share our stories of hope that reveal how our past continually shapes our future at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

This year, we celebrate a few centennial milestones that are foundational to our history of innovating in pediatric health care. In late July, Mildred T. Stahlman, MD, the pioneer of the field of newborn intensive care medicine, celebrated her 100th birthday. She not only innovated in the clinical space, but also contributed to the scientific understanding and therapeutics of treating our tiniest patients, all while training hundreds of leaders in the field. We also celebrated the centennial of our community partner, the Junior League of Nashville. For 100 years, League members have helped us establish care for children through support of novel clinical programs that continue today but always with an eye on future needs.

Through our patient stories, we showcase the amazing expertise and innovation that enable development of state-of-the-art multidisciplinary programs. From enhancing the safety and care of our young athletes to caring for children in need of transplants, our teams deliver personalized care based on discovery and best practices. We also introduce you to some of our program leaders to highlight the passion and compassion behind our program development to ensure we support the complex needs of all children in their journeys. And we close out this issue with special words from one of our closest friends, volunteers and philanthropic partners, Fran Hardcastle.

As we pause and reflect, we are grateful for the opportunity to lead, support and walk beside all our teams, our doctors, our nurses and staff and our community partners. Through their actions and working together, we are able to make a difference in the lives of children and their families, through healing hands and the gift of hope — built upon our past and always looking forward.


Meg Rush, MD, MMHC

Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP
Pediatrician-in-Chief, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and James C. Overall Professor

Jeffrey Upperman, MD
Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Pediatric Surgery

John W. Brock III, MD
Senior Vice President of Pediatric Surgical Services, Monroe Carell Jr. Professor, Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus