Eastman Credit Union donates $1 million to expand health care for women & children


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Eastman Credit Union (ECU) Board on Wednesday announced it approved a $1 million donation payable over the next decade to Ballad Health to expand health care options for expectant mothers and their families.

The donation will spearhead three regional projects, according to a release, including the expansion of Niswonger Children’s Network by launching the following facilities:

  • Regional Center for Pediatric Specialties in Johnson City
  • Regional Center for Perinatal and Neonatal Care in Johnson City
  • Center for Women and Babies at Indian Path Community Hospital in Kingsport

“ECU’s board of directors fully embraces the credit union philosophy of service, which extends beyond the branch and into our community,” said ECU President and CEO Kelly Price. “They understand that to have a vibrant economy, strong communities are essential. It’s a win-win when we find opportunities like this and join forces with other organizations that desire to make a difference.”

Ballad Health leaders also provided a statement regarding the partnership, emphasizing the impact community contributions have on children’s health programs.

“Eastman Credit Union has been a longtime, faithful supporter of health and well-being in the Appalachian Highlands,” said Jack Simpson, Ballad Health Foundation President. “Their support of Ballad Health — from furnishing Marsh Regional Blood Center with new mobile collection units, which have enabled our friends, families and neighbors to receive lifesaving blood and blood products to sponsoring the annual Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon, which brings our community together to support our region’s only children’s hospital, its programs and its patients — sets an extraordinary example of corporate generosity and care for our community.”

The Regional Center for Pediatric Specialties will house an array of pediatric subspecialists to treat children living with chronic and complex conditions. This will allow local families to stay in the region to receive care for their children.

“Our son requires unique care that is not available in our region,” said Ashley Thompson, who lives in Jonesborough. “The comfort of knowing his doctor could be right here at home is such a blessing.”

Beyond this, the Regional Center for Perinatal and Neonatal Care will provide expanded, one-stop NICU services to regional families, featuring single-family rooms for a home-like environment. Kingsport’s Center for Women and Babies will act as a family hub at Indian Path, with an updated family birth center and a pediatric emergency room.

The Ballad Health Foundation serves as a not-for-profit health system, the release states, regardless of ability to pay. Donations can be made to Ballad Health’s Niswonger Children’s Network by CLICKING HERE.

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