Wake Forest Baptist to Establish Nation’s Most Comprehensive Pediatric Trauma Institute

July 30, 2008

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and the Richard Childress family announced at a news conference today that they have teamed up to form what will become the nation’s most comprehensive institute for pediatric trauma.
The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will focus on key areas in treatment, education and training, research and prevention of pediatric trauma. The Institute’s goal is to help pave the way for others in the nation searching for ways to help save the lives of severely injured children and help those who survive on the road to recovery.

“Accidental injury and death is the number one killer of children in this nation,” said J. Wayne Meredith, M.D., chief of surgery at Wake Forest Baptist, medical director of trauma programs for the American College of Surgeons and the interim director of the Institute. “This institute will have a national impact and bring much more attention and awareness to this issue. We need a better way to treat children, and there is not enough research being done.”
The Childress family has donated $5 million to the Medical Center to initiate the project, which will get under way later this year. Wake Forest Baptist and the Childress family are currently working with several corporations and individuals to raise an additional $20 million to establish the Childress Institute. The goal is to continue to raise money to achieve national and international leadership in pediatric trauma.
“Most people don’t know that traumatic injury is the biggest killer of our children,” said Richard Childress. “The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will be the focal point of a national movement to improve the level of pediatric trauma care available across the country. We will assemble the right team to conquer this national crisis in pediatric trauma. The Childress family is committed to making the Childress Institute the leader in pediatric trauma care.”
Because of significant programs and infrastructure in place at Wake Forest Baptist, the Institute will be able to devote most of the monies to research, education, treatment and prevention and to raising the national awareness about childhood injuries. The project will also help expand the Medical Center’s state-of-the-art Pediatric Emergency Department for the Triad region.
The Institute has a goal to become the most comprehensive pediatric trauma research center in the country as it develops new research initiatives and partners with other investigators throughout the nation. For example, Meredith said, the Institute will investigate pediatric devices to be used in treating pediatric trauma victims and will study issues such as the best way to detect, prevent and minimize the effects of a serious injury in a child once it has occurred.
The Institute also plans to offer four fellowships in pediatric trauma to help train the next generation of pediatric trauma surgeons.
“There is no one in the country presently studying this issue in a comprehensive manner as this institute is targeted to do,” Meredith said. “We won’t find a cure for pediatric trauma. You are always going to have injuries, despite our desire to prevent them, and some can’t be fixed. But for the kids who do get hurt, we’d like to find a better way to help them and reduce their disability. I think we can make the most difference here.”
The Institute will also work with national and regional research groups to pool knowledge and data that can be shared with health care providers nationwide.
Charles L. Branch Jr., M.D., chair of neurosurgery at Wake Forest Baptist, is one of the visionaries behind the formation of the Institute.
“Our goal is to find the best possible way to care for children who have experienced traumatic injuries and then share that information with other trauma centers,” Branch said. “We want to help realize the Childresses’ vision to help children everywhere to get out of the hospital and back at play or in school and living normal lives as soon as possible.”
For more information, visit www.childresspediatrictrauma.com or www.wfubmc.edu or call toll free (866) 635-8190.

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EDITORS: For photos, B-roll, SOT and additional information about the Institute, visit www.childresspediatrictrauma.com/pressroom.
Media Contacts for WFUBMC: Rae Bush (336) 716-6878, rbush@wfubmc.edu; or Bonnie Davis, (336) 716-4977, bdavis@wfubmc.edu; Shannon Koontz (336) 716-2415, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu.
For Richard Childress: David Hart, (336) 225-3186, hart@rcrracing.com.

About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children’s Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system comprises 1,154 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and has been ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist is ranked 32nd in the nation by America’s Top Doctors for the number of its doctors considered best by their peers. The institution ranks in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and 4th in the Southeastern United States in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.

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