Niswonger Children’s Hospital announces affiliation with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Officials at Niswonger Children’s Hospital announced Friday a new affiliation that will enhance services at the region’s only hospital for children. The affiliation agreement with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will give patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital access to the specialized services of one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals.

“This affiliation will not only help us improve the care we can offer at Niswonger Children’s Hospital, but it will also allow us to keep more children close to home for their care,” said Steven Godbold, Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) Vice President and CEO of Niswonger Children’s Hospital. “We’re excited to be able to tap into the clinical expertise of such a world-renowned organization to benefit children and families right here at home.”

Cincinnati Children’s will provide the following specific services to Niswonger:

  1. Create and manage, in collaboration with faculty from East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine, a dedicated onsite hospitalist program. A hospitalist is a physician who specializes in the care of hospitalized patients. The program will, for the first time, devote dedicated resources to this specialty.  The program will also include a focus on quality improvement, standardization of best practices, patient safety, and driving down costs.
  2. Electronic interpretation of electroencephalograms (Tele-EEGs) by pediatric neurophysiologists to diagnose epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

Niswonger’s new hospitalist program will work closely with all clinical faculty from the ETSU Department of Pediatrics and the Quillen College of Medicine.

“We look forward to working alongside our colleagues from Cincinnati Children’s to create a superior hospitalist program for our region and an enhanced teaching site for ETSU medical students and resident physicians,” said Dr. Philip Bagnell, dean of the ETSU James H. Quillen College of Medicine.

“We are looking forward to working with our colleagues at Niswonger Children’s to enhance existing health care capabilities and address specific unmet needs for patients and families in the region,” said Dr. Arnold W. Strauss, director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.


Ten Facts About Niswonger Children’s Hospital

  1. Operates 69 licensed beds, including 39 beds for neonatal intensive care (NICU).
  2. Is the region’s only state-designated perinatal center.
  3. Serves more than 200,000 children in a 29-county radius in Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeast Kentucky and Northwest North Carolina.
  4. In its last fiscal year, had 34,076 patient encounters.
  5. Employs 120 team members and has 53 active medical staff, working closely with East Tennessee State University’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine.
  6. Provided more than $85 million during fiscal 2011 in free or discounted medical services for those unable to pay for pediatric medical care.
  7. Operates the region’s only dedicated pediatric emergency department, staffed by specially trained pediatric emergency physicians.
  8. Is home to one of only six St. Jude affiliate clinics in the country.
  9. Offers more than 20 pediatric subspecialties through its affiliation with ETSU, including pediatric cardiology, pediatric neurology, pediatric pulmonology, pediatric surgery, pediatric nephrology, pediatric infectious diseases, pediatric critical care, genetics and pediatric hematology/oncology.
  10. Was established in the 1992 as The Children’s Hospital at Johnson City Medical Center, and became Niswonger Children’s Hospital in 2009 with the construction of its own 92,000-square-foot, child-friendly facility, named after the hospital’s chief benefactor, Scott Niswonger.

Ten Facts About Cincinnati Children’s

  1. Ranked among the top three in the 2012 U.S. News & World Report survey of the best children’s hospitals.
  2. Second highest recipient of grants for pediatric research from the National Institutes of Health (ahead of the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic and The Ohio State University)
  3. In its last fiscal year, had 1.2 million patient encounters.
  4. Employs nearly 13,000 people and 1,600 active medical staff, representing 91 countries worldwide.
  5. Provided more than $270 million in free or discounted medical services for those unable to pay for pediatric medical care.
  6. Served patients from 47 different countries and all 50 U.S. states last year.
  7. Operates 587 registered beds.
  8. Performed 103 bone marrow transplants last year- more than any other pediatric bone marrow transplant center in the world.
  9. Albert Sabin developed the oral polio vaccine at Cincinnati Children’s where he spent 30 years of his medical career.  His vaccine pretty much eradicated polio from most countries of the world.
  10. Had revenues of $1.85 billion in FY-2012.


About MSHA

Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit

About Niswonger Children’s Hospital

Located in Johnson City, Tennessee, Niswonger serves more than 200,000 children in a four-state, 29-county region. The 69-bed children's hospital is staffed by pediatric experts who know, love and care about children and their families.  The goal of Niswonger Children's Hospital is to provide safe and child-friendly care that is centered on the patient and family. Additional information can be found at:


About Cincinnati Children’s

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is third in the nation in U.S. News and World Report’s 2012 Best Children’s Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for neonatology and in the top 10 for all ranked pediatric specialties. Cincinnati Children’s is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at


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