History of the Telethon
For three decades, the local edition of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon has helped to provide much-needed medical equipment for children served by East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
In 1983, Children's Hospital became a charter member of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, joining 21 other hospitals participating in the first Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Telethon. That year, the local telethon raised $95,487, all of which remained at Children's Hospital for the direct benefit of its patients. The first telethon was broadcast on WBIR-TV Channel 10.
Each year, funds raised through the telethon are used to purchase new and replacement medical equipment to help Children's Hospital remain on the cutting edge of pediatric health care. Some years, the goal is to purchase a wide variety of equipment for departments throughout the hospital. In other years, the telethon proceeds may be earmarked for one or two exceptionally costly items, such as the hospital’s first Lifeline neonatal transport van in 1984 or the hospital’s first MRI scanner in 2000.
In addition to funding equipment purchases, a portion of donations to each year’s telethon is targeted to support the hospital’s Open Door Policy. Since treating its first patient in 1937, Children's Hospital has maintained an Open Door Policy. It ensures no child will ever be denied care at the hospital due to race, religion, national origin, gender or their parents' ability to pay their medical bill.
Throughout its history, the telethon for Children's Hospital has been broadcast by WBIR-TV 10; it has grown and succeeded in large measure because of the dedication, expertise and talent of each camera person, on-air personality, producer and behind-the-scenes employee. WBIR-TV has been dedicated to Children's Hospital by providing live television coverage every year to the national and local segments of the CMN broadcast.
For more information about Children's Miracle Network Hospitals or the broadcast, please call (865) 541-8441.