Photo by Anne Rayner, Vanderbilt University

Thoughts on Hope

Published on January 27th, 2021 by Christina Echegaray.

Hope – Winter 2021:

By the time you read this edition of HOPE, we will be into the new year, with the true hope that we will soon put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. This will not be immediate and will come with some prolonged need to practice public health measures.

Over the past 11 months, our wonderful teams of physicians, nurses, trainees and all other team members have adjusted to so many new routines in the ‘how’ of delivering care, with a 1,000% dedication to maintaining the ‘what:’ a commitment to excellence. As leaders of our teams, we are so grateful for the speed of pivoting, the generosity of spirit and collaboration, and the innovation that we have witnessed — actions that will continue to be called upon in the coming year.

We would be remiss if we did not recognize the many contributions of our research teams in the coronavirus fight. From understanding the virus and how it infects, to therapies, to the recently approved vaccines that we are slowly but surely deploying, our teams have been at the forefront of discovery and leading the science.

As you read these pages, you will learn about just a few of our stories, seen through the eyes of our patients — from tiny to teen. You will learn more about our amazing teams, to be sure, but you will also hear about how our patients’ journeys were supported by some of our COVID-19 pivots. And we will formally introduce you to one of our new employees, who joined us just before the pandemic started. His commitment to our mission of patient-centered, personalized care is exceptional and unique.

More than ever, we are grateful to our community for partnering with and supporting us through this journey. As we start 2021, we thank you for your many messages and creative ways you have continued to ensure our discovery, training and patient care moves forward. Even as we offer hope and healing every day to those who need us, you have reminded us of the hope in connection and community.

Wishing you wellness as we start this new year.


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