Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit health care organization, was formed in 1998 when Egleston Children’s Health Care System and Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center merged. Children’s, a pediatric-accredited hospital, offers family-centered care while providing specialized medical procedures and supplies, age-appropriate play therapy, psychosocial support, and a hospital-based school program. A continuing medical education program helps community health care providers stay abreast of advances in clinical care. With approximately 493,000 annual patient visits in 2005, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is one of the country’s leading pediatric health care providers.
In 1915 the Scottish Rite Convalescent Home for Crippled Children opened as an eighteen-bed facility in two small wood-frame cottages in Decatur. The home provided indigent children a place to recover from surgery performed at other hospitals. By 1919 it had grown to a fifty-bed facility and changed its name to Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children. In the 1970s the hospital moved to north Atlanta.
In 1928 Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children opened in downtown Atlanta with the financial support of Thomas R. Egleston Jr. In the first year the 52-bed facility was open, 605 children were treated. In the 1950s Egleston became the pediatric teaching affiliate for the Emory University School of Medicine and relocated to the university’s campus.
Scottish Rite’s merger with Egleston in 1998 created one of the nation’s largest pediatric health care systems. Both hospitals maintained their original locations, but the merger brought together Egleston’s teaching and research strengths with Scottish Rite’s successful private-practice model and significantly reduced the cost of providing medical care to children. Together the two hospitals have more than 400 beds. The institution has sixteen satellite locations around metropolitan Atlanta, 5,900 employees, and 1,400 pediatric physicians.
In February 2006 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta assumed responsibility for the management of services at Hughes Spalding Children’s Hospital, located in downtown Atlanta at Grady Memorial Hospital. Children’s at Hughes Spalding offers the only poison center and the only hospital-based dental service in Georgia.
Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children’s is one of the leading childhood cancer, hematology, and blood and marrow programs in the country. The center treats more than 300 new cancer patients each year and cares for nearly 1,500 children with sickle cell disease, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.
The nationally recognized center provides comprehensive cardiac services for congenital and acquired heart disease to nearly 30,000 patients every year. The center is home to the Michael P. Fisher Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU), one of the country’s only CICUs designed just for kids.
Other nationally acclaimed services at Children’s are the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, orthopedics, and organ transplant. Children’s has an exhaustive list of other services, including emergency/trauma care, respiratory care, and rehabilitation. A call center offers a twenty-four-hour nurse advice line, physician referrals, and an audio health library.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta collaborates with leaders in the medical community, including the Emory University School of Medicine, Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute, the Morehouse School of Medicine, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and private-practice physicians. It serves as a statewide training resource for the prevention of illness, injury, and obesity in children. The Children’s Child Protection Center trains law enforcement personnel on child abuse detection and prevention.
Awards and Recognition
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been recognized for its outstanding staff and for its visionary physicians in pediatric medicine. Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked it the number one health care organization on its list of Atlanta’s A+ Employers in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. In 2006 and in 2007 Fortune magazine ranked Children’s as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Children’s was also recognized as one of America’s best children’s hospitals in 2004, 2005, and 2006 by U.S. News and World Report. In early 2007 Child magazine ranked Children’s third among the top ten pediatric hospitals in the country. The magazine also ranked the Aflac Cancer Center, the Sibley Heart Center, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the pulmonology program, and the orthopedics division in the nation’s top five pediatric specialties in 2005.