Gift designed to improve women’s health, infant mortality through education and training
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 19, 2022 – Atrium Health announced today a $10 million gift to the Giving Hope campaign from Anna Spangler Nelson and Thomas C. Nelson, through the C.D. Spangler Foundation. The gift will transform women’s care at Atrium Health facilities across the region by increasing access to care, expanding education and training programs to improve birth outcomes, and providing children a healthy start in life to help prepare them for academic success.
Thomas Nelson – chair of both Atrium Health’s board of directors and the new Advocate Health board, of which Atrium Health is a part – and wife Anna are committed to supporting an ambitious, multifaceted strategy to improve health access and overall health for women and adolescent girls across the state. This strategy involves experiential education and training for care providers; access to high-quality, culturally compassionate care, close to home; and support for future academic growth in Women’s Care at Atrium Health.
North Carolina reports some of the poorest health outcomes for women, including the 11th highest infant mortality rate in the country. The C.D. Spangler Foundation’s investment in Atrium Health’s women’s care programs can positively impact these outcomes, elevate the importance of maternal care and educate women and teens, meeting them where they are – in a trusted environment.
With support from the C.D. Spangler Foundation, Atrium Health will enhance its maternal care and healthy beginnings program, expanding both CenteringPregnancy, which engages moms in group prenatal care, and CenteringParenting, which emphasizes family-centered, well-child care. Participation in these programs has led to decreased rates of preterm and low weight babies and improvements in breastfeeding rates, spacing between pregnancies, recommended health care visits and immunization rates.
Additional support from the foundation will promote community doulas and in-home care – a cost efficient approach to improving perinatal and postpartum outcomes. Funding will also help expand the “Drive to Thrive” mobile medical outreach program to serve those who have limited access to reproductive, maternal, and prenatal care.
“This transformative gift from the C.D. Spangler Foundation will allow Atrium Health to support even more women – and their families – at every stage of the parenthood journey and help bring their children into the world with the resources and opportunities to thrive,” said Eugene A. Woods, chief executive officer of Advocate Health, of which Atrium Health is a part. “We are deeply grateful for Anna and Tom Nelson’s inspiring commitment to train and support women’s health care providers, while helping to expand access to care for women and families across North Carolina.”
To further advance Atrium Health as an academic learning health system, a portion of the C.D. Spangler Foundation gift will support training and recruitment. The funds will establish a women’s care mobilized training program to deliver team-based medical simulation for health care professionals across the state.
Dr. Katie Borders, assistant specialty medical director for Atrium Health Women’s Care and medical director at Shelby OBGYN, has been anticipating such a training opportunity for her tri-county footprint.
“This is extremely impactful for clinical teams in rural areas like Cleveland County, where we don’t have access to simulation training resources on site,” said Borders. “By taking this training on the road, Atrium Health will help providers promote safe birth practices, create consistency in contraception and reproductive education and directly target disparities to improve health outcomes for women and babies.”
“Thanks to Anna and Tom Nelson, Atrium Health has the opportunity to change so many lives for the better,” said Dr. Suzanna Fox, deputy chief physician executive and women’s care service line medical director for Atrium Health. Not only will women’s care broaden their training efforts, but they will advance recruitment and retention efforts by establishing the Spangler Family Endowed Professorship in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“The new faculty position will help Atrium Health recognize prominent, current talent, giving them academic and scientific freedom to pursue their ideas and ensuring there will forever be a special focus and spotlight on women’s care in our region,” said Fox. “The Nelsons will leave a lasting legacy in our communities for many years to come.”
About Atrium Health Foundation
Founded in 1959, Atrium Health Foundation is one of the largest charitable foundations in Charlotte. As the point of contact for all contributions benefiting Atrium Health in the Charlotte region, the Foundation inspires transformational giving to improve health, elevate hope, and advance healing – for ALL. Through its current Giving Hope Campaign, Atrium Health Foundation is supporting Atrium Health’s efforts to create the learning health system of the future by building healthy communities, outstanding education programs, preeminent research, and exemplary facilities.
About Atrium Health
Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations. Atrium Health is part of Advocate Health, the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, which was created from the combination with Advocate Aurora Health. It provides care under the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region, as well as Atrium Health Navicent and Atrium Health Floyd in Georgia and Alabama. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest University School of Medicine is the academic core of the enterprise, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked nationally among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties and for rehabilitation, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association’s Quest for Quality Prize and its 2021 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, as well as the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing $2.46 billion last year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.