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2019-2020 Annual Report - July

Growing every day

Nurse Michelle helped care for some of the 946 NICU patients in 2020. Over 20 percent of these patients were born dependent on narcotics.

Nurse Michelle helped care for some of the 946 NICU patients in 2020. Over 20 percent of these patients were born dependent on narcotics.

Children’s Hospital’s Grow With Me Clinic, begun in 2017, supports infants in East Tennessee born with drug dependencies. The children are enrolled in a multi-disciplinary clinic through age five, to monitor and work with developmental delays. In 2020, Children’s Hospital celebrated its first graduating class.

There were more than 350 families active in the clinic throughout 2020, and program coordinator Caroline Milford says each family is unique and special.

“There’s a lot of stigma that comes for our families and their children,” says Milford. “They don’t always encounter people in the community that treat them very well because of that drug exposure. But these children all deserve the opportunity to develop as well as they can and have healthy and successful lives.”

There are very few clinics like Grow With Me in the country. The multi-disciplinary team includes six different specialists that see every single child. They each work with the family to offer comprehensive treatment plans to promote a child’s physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing from an early age.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” says Milford, “and we want to be that village for years to come.”

Grow With Me

illustrated floating castle in the clouds

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