Couple's donation empowers Bristol Regional to create Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center

Quillen donation 1
Quillen donation 1

     BRISTOL – High-quality obstetrics care at Bristol Regional Medical Center will be enhanced with a renovation, funded by a local philanthropic family, which will update the look and feel of the birthing unit and provide new equipment to better care for families and their new additions.

     On Thursday, Nov. 15, the Wellmont Foundation unveiled plans to create the Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center at a hospital ceremony. The renovated unit, previously known as the New Life Birthing Center, will provide beneficial upgrades for mother and child thanks to a significant donation to the foundation from Mike and Debbie Quillen.

     “We are grateful to Mike and Debbie for choosing to invest in our birthing center so mothers and children who rely on Bristol Regional will continue to receive topnotch, compassionate care,” said Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont Health System’s president and CEO. “Their contribution aligns perfectly with our Healing Environment philosophy to provide a warm and inviting experience for our patients, their loved ones and our co-workers.”

     The donation will enable Bristol Regional to improve the unit’s equipment and decor. All the enhancements will bolster patient comfort and safety for this special moment for the family.

     “Very few things match the thrill parents experience with the birth of their child,” said Danita Mowl, the unit’s clinical leader. “Our birthing center is focused on making this moment stand out by providing top-tier care in a visually appealing atmosphere that adds to the memories for mom and dad. We are ecstatic to have this support from the Quillens so we can take our care model to the next level.”

     The birthing unit features 15 patient rooms, two operating room suites and four triage rooms. Mowl said the unit delivers 850-900 babies a year.

     In addition to the direct medical care mothers and babies receive, the birthing unit offers extensive community outreach. This includes birthing classes, smoking cessation programs and the annual Women’s and Children’s Expo. Bristol Regional has also initiated a safe sleep program, which includes the use of Halo SleepSacks to swaddle newborns and decrease the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

     Reflecting on the donation, Mike Quillen said he and his wife are pleased to ensure that patients continue to receive the utmost care at Bristol Regional.

     “As longtime residents of this area, my wife and I have seen the excellent care Bristol Regional delivers across a broad spectrum of services,” he said. “The hospital provides superior obstetrics care, and we concluded the quality of care could grow even more with some additional financial support.

     “My wife and I remember what a transforming moment parenthood was in our lives, along with the very rewarding experience of 14 healthy grandchildren. We welcome the opportunity to ensure parents in our region have an enjoyable start when that time arrives for them.”

     Bart Hove, Bristol Regional’s president, said the Quillens’ donation will complement other additions and changes to the hospital in recent years. These include an expanded emergency department and creation of the Leonard Family Comprehensive Breast Center, the J.D. and Lorraine Nicewonder Cancer Center and the Alpha Natural Resources Center for Interventional Cardiology.

     “As the premier hospital in the region we serve here in Tennessee and throughout Southwest Virginia, Bristol Regional is constantly looking for ways to give patients the services they need,” Hove said. “We are fortunate to have so many individuals and companies who recognize the stellar care delivered every day by our physicians and staff. We appreciate Mike and Debbie’s support to enable us to continue meeting our patients’ needs.”

     Wellmont is a not-for-profit health system that has provided an annual community benefit of as much as $90 million, including $75 million in uncompensated care. Todd Norris, Wellmont’s senior vice president of system advancement, said that means assistance from the community is essential for hospitals such as Bristol Regional to still have the most appropriate technology, services and facilities.

     “Philanthropic individuals and companies in the communities we serve have graciously assisted our hospitals and other medical facilities,” Norris said. “We value these partnerships and appreciate how they have helped Wellmont remain a provider of high-quality services at the lowest possible cost. It has elevated the quality of life in our region to superb levels and assured everyone that great care is available close to home.”


     Mike Quillen, right, unveils the Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center at Bristol Regional with assistance from Wellmont Health System co-worker Kathryn Ragan.

     Todd Norris, center, Wellmont Health System's senior vice president of system advancement, helps celebrate the naming of the Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center at Bristol Regional Medical Center as Mike and Debbie Quillen rejoice.

     Celebrating the naming of the Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center at Bristol Regional Medical Center are, left to right, Denny DeNarvaez, Wellmont Health System's president and CEO; Bart Hove, the hospital's president; Dr. Jack Butterworth, chairman of the hospital's board of directors; Todd Norris, Wellmont's senior vice president of system advancement; and co-benefactors Mike and Debbie Quillen.

     The announcement of the Deborah H. Quillen Birthing Center at Bristol Regional Medical Center came just prior to her birthday. Mike and Debbie Quillen helped commemorate the upcoming event by cutting a birthday cake.


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