T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Foundation pays tribute to hospital founder

T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital Foundation paid tribute to the hospital’s founder yesterday by unveiling a restored oil portrait of Thompson and a wall of photos with a timeline commemorating historical moments in the life of the former Chattanooga mayor and the hospital bearing his name.

Six descendents of T.C. Thompson, the founder of Chattanooga’s premier hospital exclusively for children, attended the ceremony, as well as Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County Commissioner Tim Boyd, Foundation board members, Erlanger Health System executive leadership, and hospital pediatricians and staff members.

Dr. Alan Kohrt, CEO of T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital, presented a brief history of Thompson and the hospital. The physician emphasized Thompson’s influence in generating support for building a hospital in Chattanooga to serve the healthcare needs of infants, children, and adolescents. Foundation co-chairs, Debby Alper and Carrie Kennedy, unveiled the newly restored portrait of Thompson and the history wall to attendees.

Honored guests attending the ceremony were Thompson’s granddaughters, Mary Curtis and Liz Norris; great-grandchildren, Ann Crosby, Lisa Norris, and Chip Norris; and great-granddaughter Chelsea Crosby.

About T.C. Thompson
Thomas Clarkson Thompson, who served as Mayor of Chattanooga from 1909 to 1915, enlisted financial support from the Civitan Club and private contributors to lead the movement for a children’s hospital in Chattanooga during the late 1920s. By 1929, Thompson’s dream became reality with the opening of Children’s Hospital in Glenwood.

Children’s Hospital at Erlanger History Wall with restored photo of T.C. Thompson

Thompson’s dedication to public service was influenced by his father, Hugh Smith Thompson, who served two terms as governor of South Carolina. His interest in providing medical care for children stemmed from the medical treatment received by his own son, Hugh, who served in France during World War I. Army doctors predicted Hugh would never walk again – but after 18 months of therapy, Hugh could walk with crutches.


About T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital
As the only academic medical center in the tri-state region devoted solely to children, T.C.Thompson Children’s Hospital (TCTCH) is a Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center (CRPC), the highest designation in the state for pediatrics. TCTCH has a full range of pediatric subspecialists, as well as a pediatrics ER, ICU, and Level III neonatal intensive care unit, providing the highest level of care in the region for premature and sick infants.

About Erlanger Health System
The Erlanger Health System has five Tennessee-based medical campuses, including the region’s only children’s hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center, providing the highest level of trauma care.  Affiliated with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, Erlanger is also the region’s only academic teaching center and treats more than a quarter million patients every year.