Who We Are

On June 14, 2018, the Chattanooga Pediatric Foundation, Inc., was created when the Connor Pullen Foundation changed its name and Board of Directors. The Pullen Family wished to expand their mission offerings to the entire pediatric medical community and found a partnership in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger.

Connor’s Story

Connor was born November 29, 2012, after a normal pregnancy and no complications. Within minutes of his birth, he was rushed to the NICU and his parents were told phrases like “serious condition” and “lung dysfunction” and “expect the worse.” As the doctors discussed the situation with them, they felt in shock that they were in the wrong room. For the next few months of his family’s life, they did not know what to expect each day. The greatest issue was that Connor’s lungs did not want to breathe on their own, so the initial outlook was very serious.

Thanks to the amazing team of pediatricians and the devotion and commitment of Chattanooga’s only Pediatric Pulmonolgist (at the time), it was determined Connor has a genetic abnormality called Surfactant Protein C Mutation. Fortunately, his family is able to manage this with no serious impact to Connor’s health and development. Their team of doctors does not know what will happen as he grows up or if there will be any other side effects with this deficiency, but for now, the easiest way to describe his condition is a mild form of asthma.

What we do

The Pullen Family has a saying that sums it all up — “Every family is a team… and every team is a family.” In those dark moments, it was the support of their family at home and also their new family at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger that carried them through to better days. The Pullen Family and friends knew they had to find a way to support their new Children’s Hospital family because every child and their family deserves an amazing team, and thus created the Connor Pullen Foundation (CPF) in 2014 in order to do something to help.

Initially, their experience prompted them to act on behalf of children suffering from lung disease. However, as they began forming the Foundation, they realized that there is a shortage of medical students being attracted to pediatric medicine and many of the subspecialties, not just pulmonary medicine. This is not just occurring locally but nationally as well. Thus, CPF’s mission was “supporting medical education by attracting, engaging and supporting students, residents and fellows to positively impact the health of our region.” No family should have to travel to obtain the necessary care for their children.

CPF saw the impact of helping their initial medical students by providing them temporary housing while they did on-month rotations here at Children’s Hospital. CPF continued to support medical students as they finished their medical education so that for every student they helped attract into any field in pediatric medicine, they in turn will treat thousands of children throughout their careers.

The Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Pediatric Foundation strongly values the Connor Pullen Foundation mission
and will continue to provide support for pediatric medical education for today’s pediatricians and those of the next generation.

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