Healthcare Access

Having identified the most pressing health issues facing children in the community, the group discussion participants engaged in a brainstorming exercise to explore how East Tennessee Children’s Hospital can enhance its efficacy to influence positive change for these issues.

The primary strategy that arose from this exercise was to improve healthcare access.

Survey Feedback

“Every year we graduate from medical school more kids than there are residencies available, and that’s in every specialty, including pediatrics… there’s not enough [specialists] to maintain [and] treat America’s population. That’s going to make it hard for any medical provider [like] Children’s Hospital to recruit and retain all of these sub-specialties that you’re going to need.”

“[Lack of access to mental health resources, lack of transportation, lack of insurance]—it’s a melting pot of issues that make our kids sick.”

“In my clinic, the large majority are TennCare patients. We have a lot of poverty where I work, and that is the overriding issue related to every health condition that happens to our patient population. It’s not that they don’t want to follow through on things, it’s just for a variety of different [reasons]—resources, transportation, whatever it may be—they just can’t [access mental health services].”