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Ballad Health receives $1.2M gift for new pediatric emergency department at BRMC

Hank Hayes • Aug 13, 2019 at 3:26 PM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Plans to develop a new pediatric emergency department at Bristol Regional Medical Center got a boost this week when longtime community members stepped forward to endorse and support this new service for children in Sullivan County and Southwest Virginia.

The J.D. Nicewonder Family Pediatric Emergency Department, a service of Niswonger Children’s Hospital, will feature a separate entrance and designated treatment rooms for children and their families.

“Children and families are our greatest treasures, and we believe by supporting local health care, we’re making a substantial difference in their lives,” said J.D. Nicewonder. “It’s a true joy to work in partnership with Ballad Health to bring this new emergency room to Bristol Regional and make this region even better for families.”

The new pediatric emergency department is being funded through a $1.2 million gift made in honor of J.D. and Lorraine Nicewonder, longtime supporters of Ballad Health programs and hospitals, and from funding provided by the health system.

“This was an extremely generous gift, and we’re immeasurably grateful,” said Jack Simpson, president of Ballad Health Foundation. “The Nicewonder family has long been a champion of health care in this region, and this investment in children’s health services is a testament to their commitment to transforming local life and health."

Unlike an all-ages emergency department, the J.D. Nicewonder Family Pediatric Emergency Department will feature child-friendly décor and furniture, a design feature that includes bright colors and patterns and continues the Niswonger Children’s Hospital motif of kites and hot air balloons.

The gift also made it possible for Ballad Health to offer child life specialists in the emergency department who will help children cope with the stress of their visit and better understand their treatment.

The J.D. Nicewonder Family Pediatric Emergency Room will be part of a regional system of care for children that includes a pediatric emergency room in Kingsport and pediatric surgical and trauma services at Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City. The network will link all Ballad Health emergency rooms to Niswonger Children’s Hospital via telemedicine capabilities.

Construction will begin after a ground breaking set for this fall.

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