Learn About Niswonger Children’s Hospital

Niswonger Children’s Hospital, established in 2009 by benefactors Scott and Nikki Niswonger, has become a beacon of hope in the Tri-Cities. It is our mission to provide the most comprehensive healthcare for pediatric patients close to home. Even our slogan states this will be the place “Where Hope Rises.”

Since opening our doors, we have made great strides to offer the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art healthcare for children in our 29-county region. Over the past two years we have brought on many new physicians and have even added services to our region that have never before been offered. We continue to form partnerships that can bring the best possible care to this region, such as our Shriners Hospitals for Children Orthopaedic Clinic at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

As you can imagine, we have learned a great deal over the last eight years. We took the vision of Mr. Niswonger and turned it into not only bricks and mortar, but a place for hope and healing, sometimes creating a “home away from home” for our young patients. But we have also learned that if we only focus on the children who come into our hospital, then we are missing the majority of children in our region. Only a small portion will ever need inpatient acute care services, but the needs of the children in this community extend well beyond medical care.

As we begin 2017, we also begin a new phase in the advancement of Niswonger Children’s Hospital. We will be reaching outside of our walls to positively impact the overall health of the children in our region. As I have been developing these plans, I remembered the actual definition of health that I was required to memorize my freshman year of high school: “Health is a state of complete mental, physical, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Caring for acute illness is not enough. We have children in our region who are not achieving their optimal mental and social health. We have problems such as drug addiction, suicide, physical and sexual abuse, low literacy, lack of family support, neglect, and high risk behaviors.

Our plan must be comprehensive. It involves developing relationships with organizations in our community who are already working to tackle these issues. It involves branching out our services so that care is taken to where the children are. It’s working with schools, our local and state governments, and non-profit partners to create lasting improvements and to impact overall health.

The next steps seem to be very clear. Niswonger Children’s Hospital will not only meet a child’s acute care needs, but will also be a strong advocate tackling the tough problems. We will work to develop a Niswonger Children’s system of care while continuing to serve as the region’s children’s hospital.

And with this new vision, you may ask, “How can I help make a difference?”

We will always need and always appreciate your support for new equipment, capital campaigns, and other initiatives, as these are important to the medical piece of our vision. I sincerely thank you for all you have already done. My challenge to you, to us all, is to think about going outside the walls of the hospital and into the community. The needs are great and the opportunities are endless.