ATLANTA, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Today ESR Children's Health Care System, one of the country's largest pediatric health systems, unveiled its new name and identity -- Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. James E. Tally, Ph.D, president and chief executive officer of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, was joined by First Lady of Georgia Marie Barnes, along with a group of Atlanta-area children at the Atlanta History Center, to announce the new name for the pediatric health system. "Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is a new name for the same high quality pediatric healthcare that has been a part of the Atlanta community for more than 80 years thanks to Egleston and Scottish Rite," said Tally during a news conference. "A tremendous amount of time, research and input from community members and volunteers went into the decision to combine the strengths of Egleston and Scottish Rite and bring them into the next millennium. We put as much effort into choosing a new name that would reflect our devotion to children and our firm belief that children belong in a children's hospital, whenever possible. We feel Children's Healthcare of Atlanta echoes these values." Egleston Children's Health Care System and Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center announced their intent to merge in August, 1997, officially merging in February, 1998. The merger was designed to combine existing services, eliminate unnecessary expenses, and identify opportunities for growth and development. The decision allowed both institutions to focus on one priority -- children and families -- and to better meet the needs of the community. Beginning today, Egleston Children's Hospital is now Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston and Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center is Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. Immediate care, primary care and rehabilitation centers located throughout metro-Atlanta follow suit. For example, Scottish Rite at North Point is Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at North Point and Egleston Healthcare Center at Sandy Plains is Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Sandy Plains. Insurance plans covering patients at the former Egleston or Scottish Rite locations have not changed. Parents should check their healthcare plan to ensure that their child's care is covered at a specific location. For questions about insurance coverage or other inquiries about Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, parents can talk to a Children's customer service representative, Monday -- Friday, September 1 -- 15, 9 a.m. -- 5 p.m., (except Labor Day), by calling 404-250-kids and pressing 6. The Children's Healthcare of Atlanta name joins two smiling, waving boy and girl characters to form the logo for the System. The logo, which incorporates bright blue, red and green with black type, was designed jointly by Ogilvy & Mather Advertising and the Children's in-house communication department. The boy and girl characters, unnamed as yet, are also the mascots for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. They will make appearances at the System's hospitals and at major events throughout metro-Atlanta. A mascot naming contest among Children's employees, physicians and volunteers will culminate in the selection of a final name by children from 28 partner schools. "We have purposely made these characters bright, with friendly, happy faces," Tally said, adding that the characters were chosen by several focus groups because of their ability to appeal to almost every child. "Their job is to spread joy and brighten the day for our sick and injured patients as well as for the healthy children of our community." Along with its new name, logo and mascots, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta also unveiled a new Web site today, located at www.choa.org. The new Web site features a medical library for parents, grandparents and caregivers. This library contains hundreds of pages of pediatric healthcare information on topics from minor illnesses to life-threatening conditions. The Web site also offers an e-mail sign up to receive quarterly newsletters from Children's specialty services areas. The first 5,000 Georgia residents who register on- line will receive a special mouse pad bearing the Children's logo. Following today's public announcement, Children's begins replacing signage at its facilities, incorporating the new name and logo. Most of the signs will be installed during the next several days, with the remainder in place by mid-October. Employees, physicians and volunteers of Children's learned of the new name in a celebration held August 31. Later this year, exhibits honoring the history of Egleston and Scottish Rite will be permanently housed at each respective hospital. "Those who led us to make this announcement today came on a journey of faith and courage," Tally said. "Our commitment and dedication to Children's will honor them and keep intact our mission of enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education." To download camera ready images of the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta logo, photos from the news conference and more information, please visit www.choa.org/media . Children's Healthcare of Atlanta is dedicated to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Children's addresses the unique needs of sick and injured children and their families with specially trained physicians and staff, equipment designed for young, growing bodies and a child-friendly environment. Children's has been recognized for excellence in cardiology, cancer treatment, craniofacial surgery, emergency medicine, orthopaedics, rehabilitation and transplantation services among many other pediatric services. With 400 beds in two hospitals, Children's is one of the largest pediatric healthcare systems in the country. Through extensive community outreach programs and partnerships with other providers, businesses and corporations, we strive to ensure that wellness and prevention programs are accessible to families across the state. As a non- profit organization, we benefit from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community and state. For information on our programs, services and volunteer opportunities call 404-250-kids or visit our Web site at www.choa.org .
SOURCE Children's Healthcare of Atlanta