UTHSC Aids Renovation of Auditorium at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

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UTHSC Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Ken Brown, second from left, assists Le Bonheur President Michael Wiggins in cutting the ribbon for the newly renovated Russell W. Chesney Auditorium at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. (Photo courtesy of Le Bonheur)

The Russell W. Chesney Auditorium at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital has sentimental and practical ties to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

It is named after Russell W. Chesney, MD, the longtime chair of the Department of Pediatrics at UTHSC and a nephrologist at Le Bonheur. Dr. Chesney, who served for more than 23 years as chair of of Pediatrics, passed away in April 2015.

The auditorium was renovated this summer and re-opened in August. UTHSC donated $250,000 to Le Bonheur for the renovations.

Ken Brown, JD, MPA, PhD, FACHE, executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer at UTHSC, said the financial gift benefits both the hospital and the university. Le Bonheur is a core teaching hospital partner for UTHSC and the majority of the medical staff, students, and residents at Le Bonheur are affiliated with UTHSC.

The 3,300-square-foot auditorium is used for town halls, Grand Rounds, service awards, conferences, and trainings at the hospital. Renovation of the 209-seat space began in May, was completed Aug. 9, and the ribbon-cutting was later that month. The seating, lighting, flooring, audio system, and paint were updated, and new sound-deadening acoustical panels were installed.

Dr. Chesney was president of the American Pediatric Society and chairman of the American Board of Pediatrics. He received the highest awards given by the American Pediatric Society and International Pediatric Nephrology Association. He also received a lifetime achievement award from the Tennessee American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Chesney’s wife, Joan Chesney, MD, CM, is a Le Bonheur physician and professor of Pediatrics at UTHSC.