Children’s museums believe in the power of play. Madigan Army Medical Center believes in children and the power to make their lives exceptional.
That tie led the Children’s Museum of Tacoma to recognize Madigan’s stalwart support of children and families by awarding it the 2017 Deean Marsh Great Friend to Children Award at this year’s Power of Play Lunch Tuesday at the Hotel Murano in downtown Tacoma.
Named to posthumously honor beloved museum employee Deean Marsh, the museum started presenting the award to individuals and organizations making notable contributions to enriching and supporting the lives of children in 2008. The award recognizes Madigan as a whole with a specific note of appreciation for the Pediatric Specialty Department, the new Joint Base Lewis-McChord Center for Autism Resources, Education and Services and its work with the Exceptional Family Member Program.
Tanya Durand, executive director of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, told Col. Michael Place, Madigan commander, that she is thrilled that Madigan was permanently acknowledged and recognized for its work providing extraordinary care for children in the community and beyond.
“JBLM has an extremely large number of young families and nearly one in four children has some documented special need,” Durand said. “In the general population, that is one in 10, so one in four is pretty extraordinary. This calls upon Madigan to provide stellar pediatric services. They do.”
As he accepted the award, Place focused on Madigan’s programs that help kids make a strong start for a confident and compassionate life. Opened in August, JBLM CARES is the Department of Defense’s first autism service center. Madigan also has an impressive Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship program, he said.
“Remarkably, 20 percent of the developmental pediatricians across the country were trained at Madigan,” Place said. “So, if you’re looking at a developmental pediatrician somewhere, odds are strongly in their favor that they were trained in our program. That is the commitment we have not only to military families but to the greater community at large.”
Joining Place were Madigan leaders instrumental in providing care to kids. Col. (Dr.) Jay Erickson, deputy commander for medical services; Lt. Col. (Dr.) Eric Flake, program director of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics; Maj. (Dr.) Daniel Tolson, a physician in pediatrics, developmental fellow and manager of the EFMP at Madigan; and Maj. (Dr.) Elizabeth Woods, Pediatric Patient-Centered Medical Home director.
Other faces familiar to the JBLM community were present as well. Retired Maj. Gen. James “Jimmy” Collins, former deputy commander for I Corps, who is currently Washington’s civilian aide to the secretary of the Army and is serving this year as an honorary chair along with his wife, Linda. Both are involved with the museum for very personal reasons.
“Our grandchildren are entertained and learn at the Children’s Museum and we find it just a perfect match between the military community and the terrific programs that the Children’s Museum offers,” Collins said.
Emphasizing that military and civilian are really one community, Place ended his remarks with appreciation and an invitation.
“We are thrilled and honored to be recognized with this award,” Place said. “Please come on out. Madigan is your hospital, whether you are a military beneficiary or not. We invite you to come see one of the greatest institutions that our military has to offer; a leading facility for medicine in our country.”