Childress family donating $5 million to start pediatric trauma institute

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

WINSTON-SALEM ó A NASCAR team owner and his family are donating $5 million to start a pediatric trauma institute at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
At a press conference Wednesday, officials with the hospital and Childress’ racing team said Wednesday that construction will begin this year on the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. Richard Childress, his family and the hospital are trying to raise another $20 million for the institute.
Dr. L. Wayne Meredith said accidental injury and death are the top killers of children in the U.S. Meredith is the chief of surgery at Baptist and interim director of the center.
Hospital officials said they want the center to become the nation’s most comprehensive institute for pediatric trauma.
“This institute will have a national impact and bring much more attention and awareness to this issue,” Meredith said. “We need a better way to treat children, and there is not enough research being done.”
The Institute also plans to offer four fellowships in pediatric trauma to help train the next generation of pediatric trauma surgeons.
“There is no one in the country presently studying this issue in a comprehensive manner as this institute is targeted to do,” Meredith said.
At the press conference, Childress said, “Most people don’t know that traumatic injury is the biggest killer of our children. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma will be the focal point of a national movement to improve the level of pediatric trauma care available across the country. We will assemble the right team to conquer this national crisis in pediatric trauma. The Childress family is committed to making the Childress Institute the leader in pediatric trauma care.”