News Release

Monday, October 01, 2001

Contact: George Stinnett, CHKD, (757)668-7424

CHKD Receives $2.5 Million In Federal Support To Train Children's Physicians

Norfolk, Va.--Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters was notified recently by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) it would receive approximately $2.5 million in federal payments to support the hospital's continued training of pediatricians and pediatric specialists in support of Eastern Virginian Medical School's residency programs. Across the country, independent children’s teaching hospitals are receiving more than $230 million in federal payments to support similar programs. The new payments result from Congress’ appropriation of funds last year for children’s hospitals’ graduate medical education (GME). “It can’t be stressed enough how vital this federal funding is to providing quality medical care, day in and day out, to children,” said CHKD president and CEO Bob Bonar. “This federal grant payment helps ensure that CHKD will continue to provide the specialized training pediatricians need in order to provide the best treatment to children in our region as well as to advance research to improve their health care. In addition to thanking HRSA, we want to thank Congress, especially our two Virginia senators and our four Hampton Roads representatives--past and present--who championed this critical issue last year and who are working to increase funding for hospitals like ours next year.” Congress established the federal Children’s Hospitals GME Payment Program in 1999 (the Health Care Research and Quality Act, P.L. 106-129) in response to an unintentional, but increasingly serious inequity in federal GME support for teaching hospitals. It authorized up to $285 million annually for the program – a level of federal GME support comparable to what other teaching hospitals already received through the Medicare program. Less than 1 percent of hospitals nationwide, independent children’s teaching hospitals train nearly 30 percent of all pediatricians and 50 pediatric specialists but do not benefit from the only major, reliable source of GME financing in the nation--Medicare--since children’s hospitals do not care for the elderly. As a result, these hospitals, up until 1999, received less than half of one percent of the GME support that other teaching hospitals received. “Children’s hospitals are grateful to Congress for narrowing a significant funding gap with its action last year to approve $235 million,” said Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals (N.A.C.H). “Equity is now within reach. But children’s hospitals still receive less than what other teaching hospitals receive for GME through Medicare,” said McAndrews. “The difference between this year’s funding of $235 million and full funding of $285 million translates into a real difference in support for each hospital. Every dollar towards equitable GME support increases children’s hospitals’ ability to keep their services strong and finances sound, while maintaining exceptional training programs.” “Clearly, our nation faces enormous and difficult challenges as we seek to secure the future for our children. One of the ways we can do that is by ensuring that we continue to train physicians fully qualified to meet children’s unique needs,” Bonar said. “At a time when many hospitals around the country report a shortage of pediatric specialists, the new federal funding is critical to the future of our major centers of pediatric training.” As major centers for specialized pediatric training and research, children’s teaching hospitals are able to care for children suffering from a wide range of illnesses and conditions ranging from the routine to extremely severe. In addition, these hospitals treat more than 15 percent of all hospitalized children, including:
  • 40 percent of all infants requiring major operations,
  • 45 percent of all children with cystic fibrosis,
  • 47 percent of all children requiring chemotherapy,
  • 57 percent of all children requiring spinal operations, and
  • 75 percent of all newborns requiring organ transplants.
  • Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters is the regional pediatric referral center serving Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina. The not-for-profit hospital was founded in 1961 on the philosophy children deserve the highest quality of medical care regardless of their family’s ability to pay. Today, CHKD experts treat more than 125,000 patients annually through dozens of inpatient services and outpatient programs covering the routine issues of childhood and the extreme complexities of chronic diseases and traumatic injuries.