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Our History

While serving as president of Chattanooga’s Civitan Club in the 1920’s, former mayor T.C. Thompson spearheaded a movement to build a hospital exclusively for children, and the new facility opened its doors in 1929.

Over the next eight decades, the region’s only children’s hospital expanded and transformed – both in physical presence and medical innovation. It has increasingly filled a vital role for our community.

Today Children’s Hospital at Erlanger is a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center (CRPC), the highest state designation for pediatrics. It offers a full complement of pediatric subspecialists, a pediatric ER and an ICU, and a Level IV neonatal intensive care unit, providing the region's highest level of critical care for infants.

But the best our history is yet to come. Children's Hospital at Erlanger is building a new home for its unmatched medical innovation – and a new future for children's health in our region. In 2017 we broke ground on a 90,000-square-foot outpatient center, creatively designed to engage a child's imagination and distract from their illness. The center is phase one of plans for a new Children's Hospital, and it is part of a visionary, multi-year re-imagining of our downtown campus.

A Timeline of Pediatric Innovation

1929 – The region’s first hospital for children opens in Chattanooga

1942 – Innovative polio treatments offered, including hydrotherapy

1949 – The region’s first premature unit opens

1975 – Children’s moves to a new location at Erlanger’s downtown campus

1976 – The region’s first pediatric intensive care unit opens

1980 – A state-of-the-art Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opens

1991 – Children’s becomes the region's only Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center (CRPC), functioning at the highest level of pediatric trauma care

2002 – The region’s only pediatric emergency department triples in size

2010 – The region’s first surgical unit designed exclusively for children opens

2011 – A dedicated CT scanner and “CT Ranch” for children is introduced

2015 – Plans unveiled to again transform pediatric care in our region with a new hospital and ambulatory center

2017 – Ground is broken for the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger Outpatient Center, phase one of plans for a new Children's Hospital