Newborn Vaccines

Newborn Vaccines

The arrival of a newborn brings excitement and wonder.  New parents have many questions about their young infant. The first question I get asked is, "Is my infant healthy?"  While many problems can be detected during a physician's examination in the hospital, there are many medical conditions that do not become evident until days, weeks or even months after a child's birth.  Fortunately, many of these conditions can be treated or managed if detected early.

All infants born in the state of Tennessee are given a test known as the newborn screening test...

Chattanooga Goes Back to School

Chattanooga Goes Back to School

It is time for Chattanooga to go “Back To School!”  PHIC has decided that it would go back to school as well.  The Coalition has been meeting for some time with Hamilton County Department of Education officials and local health providers about partnering to improve the health of Hamilton County’s children.

Hamilton County is challenged by pediatric asthma.  Asthma is the number one reason children miss school.  These absences

PHIC Committee on School-Based Health Winter Report

PHIC Committee on School-Based Health Winter Report

The School-Based Health sub-group is composed of individuals from the Hamilton Co. School System (administration and nursing representative), health care providers (Erlanger and HCHD) and the philanthropic community. 

We have met several times throughout Fall 2014 and have prioritized our agenda to include 2 shorter-term goals:

President's Report

President's Report

This has been a great year for the Pediatric Health Improvement Coalition of the Tennessee Valley (PHIC).  We have completed our Strategic Planning Initiative (SPI), begun the process of building strong community pediatric interest groups, continued work on our comprehensive regional health improvement plan and facilitated partnership with many community organizations to move toward a healthier Tennessee Valley.

In December of 2013, PHIC contracted Blue Cottage Consulting of Ann Arbor, MI to lead the SPI.  This initiative was a catalyst to a rigorous cycle of analysis, discussion and innovative design in regard to the health and well being of our community’s children...

Adult Obesity Continues to Increase

Adult Obesity Continues to Increase

The new County Health Statistics from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute are published.  They can be reviewed in detail online.  The web site is very user friendly and interesting to study.

One of the most disappointing stats is the persistent increase in adults with BMI over 30 or obese.  Hamilton County is now at 31% of the population with a BMI of 30 or above...

PHIC Vice-President and Children's CEO Speak Out about Cover Kids Program

PHIC Vice-President and Children's CEO Speak Out about Cover Kids Program

The changes to CoverKids are among a series of recent cost-saving measures made by TennCare and other insurers over the past two years that have hit children’s hospitals’ bottom lines to an unprecedented degree, said Dr. Alan Kohrt, CEO of T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. Kohrt is also chairman of the Children’s Hospital Alliance of Tennessee, which met with state leaders this week.

Children’s at Erlanger for example, has lost more than $3 million from a string of recent cuts.

“We’re seeing increasing cuts to the children’s hospitals that threaten the level of care that we provide,” Kohrt said. “We have not had to cut any services — yet. But we continue to face financial pressure...

Local Families Have a Voice in Children’s Health

Local Families Have a Voice in Children’s Health

Chattanooga, TN - The Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition for the Tennessee Valley (PHIC-TV) is releasing the announcement of four regional Pediatric Health Forums.  These open meetings will invite the public to comment on personal experience with local health services for children in the Tennessee Valley (Southeast Tennessee, North Alabama, North Georgia and South Western North Carolina).

The first week of March will be the Tennessee Valley Pediatric Health Week...

Shocking Rates of Pediatric Asthma in the Tennessee Valley are the Number One Cause of School Absence

Shocking Rates of Pediatric Asthma in the Tennessee Valley are the Number One Cause of School Absence

Asthma is a chronic medical condition that affects the lungs.  Patients can experience frequent cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain or tightness on a regular basis.  Occasionally a patient with asthma will suffer an “asthma attack.”   During an attack the airways in the lungs become inflamed, make excess mucous, and become constricted.  An asthma attack causes significant trouble breathing and can lead to an emergency room visit, a hospital stay, or even death.  Infections, allergies, and irritants, such as cigarette smoke and pollution, can lead to an asthma attack.  Attacks can easily be prevented with regular doctor visits and effective and inexpensive medications.

Untreated Mental Health in Children a Major Driver for School Dropout, Crime and Suicide in Chattanooga

Untreated Mental Health in Children a Major Driver for School Dropout, Crime and Suicide in Chattanooga

The Pediatric Healthcare Improvement Coalition of the Tennessee Valley (PHIC-TV) has identified Mental Health issues as one of the five major challenges faced by children, adolescents, their families and pediatricians in the greater Chattanooga area. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has described mental health as a “state of successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and the ability to change and to cope with adversity.”[i]  The term “mental health” can be broad and often encompasses “behavioral,” “neurodevelopmental,” “psychiatric,” “psychological,” “social-emotional,” and “substance abuse,” as well as adjustment to stressors such as child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, grief and loss...

The Chasm in Adolescent Medical Care: Psychiatric Disorders

The Chasm in Adolescent Medical Care: Psychiatric Disorders

"More than half of adolescents with psychiatric disorders receive no treatment of any sort, says a new study by E. Jane Costello, a Duke University professor of psychology and epidemiology and associate director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. When treatment does occur, the providers are rarely mental health specialists, says the study, which was based on a survey of more than 10,000 American teenagers."

Read more from November 18, 2013 Duke University Press Release...