ECU Board Approves $1 Million to Spearhead Healthcare Expansions for Women, Babies, and Children
December 01, 2021
KINGSPORT - Eastman Credit Union announced today a $1 million donation payable over the next 10-years to Ballad Health Foundation to expand regional healthcare opportunities for expectant mothers, babies, children, and families.
ECU’s board of directors approved the contribution to spearhead three regional projects that will greatly enhance the quality and specialization of services available to those living in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. These projects include the expansion of the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network through the creation of the Regional Center for Pediatric Specialties and Regional Center for Perinatal and Neonatal Care in Johnson City, Tennessee, and a Center for Women and Babies at Indian Path Community Hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee.
“ECU’s board of directors fully embraces the credit union philosophy of service, which extends beyond the branch and into our communities. They understand that to have a vibrant economy, strong communities are essential. It’s a win-win when we find opportunities like this and join forces with other organizations that desire to make a difference,” said Kelly Price, ECU’s President and CEO.
“Eastman Credit Union has been a longtime, faithful supporter of health and well-being in the Appalachian Highlands. Their support of Ballad Health – from furnishing Marsh Regional Blood Center with new mobile collection units, which have enabled our friends, families and neighbors to receive lifesaving blood and blood products, to sponsoring the annual Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon, which brings our community together to support our region’s only children’s hospital, its programs and its patients – set an extraordinary example of corporate generosity and care for our community,” said Jack Simpson, president of Ballad Health Foundation.
“With this gift, they will help us reach even more families at Niswonger Children’s Hospital’s main Johnson City campus, as well as through the new Center for Women and Babies in Kingsport, which will be the first of its kind in the region,” said Simpson.
The Regional Center for Pediatric Specialties will offer clinics with pediatric subspecialists to treat children with many types of chronic and complex conditions. Local families, who have traveled out of the region for care, realize the positive impact this center will have on the lives of those in need of special services.
“Our son requires unique care that is not available in our region. The comfort of knowing his doctor could be right here, at home, is such a blessing,” said Ashley Thompson of Jonesborough.
The Regional Center for Perinatal and Neonatal Care will provide expanded, one-stop specialized NICU services. One of the greatest features will be the construction of single-family rooms, which will allow families to stay together in a home-like environment.
“ECU’s contribution will lead the way to close that healthcare gap for many. We’re also excited about a portion of the donation that is earmarked to be spent in Kingsport,” said Price.
The Center for Women and Babies will offer a central point for care at Indian Path Community Hospital with an updated family birth center, family birth elevators and a pediatric emergency room.
“The Center for Women and Babies provides Kingsport the opportunity to contribute to a network of high-quality services for women and infants – something that is important to everyone in the region,” said Lisa Carter, chief executive officer of Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network and vice president of pediatric services.
“When we launched the Niswonger Children’s Network, we set out to establish a high standard of healthcare and well-being – and the start of brighter futures – for children across the Appalachian Highlands. ECU’s support and philanthropy are helping us reach a new level of wellness in children and families that reaches beyond hospital walls,” said Carter.
As a not-for-profit health system, Ballad Health treats all patients regardless of ability to pay. Gifts to the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network can also be made any time by visiting https://www.balladhealth.org/foundation/ways-share-your-support. More information about the children’s network and Niswonger Children’s Hospital is available at https://www.balladhealth.org/pediatrics/niswonger-childrens-network.
About Eastman Credit Union
ECU is one of the largest credit unions in the country, with $7.06 billion in assets. ECU is a not-for-profit financial service cooperative serving over 280,000 members at over 30 locations. Credit Union members have access to more than 56,200 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint™ and Presto!® Networks and a wide range of financial services, including free checking and free online banking. For additional information about ECU, visit www.ecu.org or call 800.999.2328.
About the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network:
The Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network is a regional system of healthcare and community services marking a new phase in high standards of care and well-being for children, regardless of where they live across the Appalachian Highlands. The Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network is comprised of physical assets, such as hospital and clinic locations, as well as community outreach programs and partnerships that advance children’s health. It also represents Ballad Health and East Tennessee State University’s commitment to expand pediatric services and specialties, along with a concerted regionwide effort to expand services for children beyond care when they’re sick or hospitalized.