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Treating children with neural tube defects

Response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Limited Clinic Appointments

We are committed to the health and safety of our patients and families. The Boehm Center’s weekly neurosurgical clinic and monthly urological clinic will be limited tour urgent appointments until further notice. We have implemented a phone screening process to determine the best course of action for each patient that must be rescheduled. We will keep a list of all canceled appointments and will reschedule as soon as possible.

Clinic Registration & Visitor Policy – Children’s Kennedy Outpatient Center

Only one caregiver and no additional siblings or children may accompany the patient to the clinic appointment
.  A day before your scheduled appointment, we will conduct appointment reminders and phone screenings. If anyone has experienced a fever or upper respiratory symptoms, we will reschedule the appointment. 

On appointment day, all visitors will be screened upon entry to the building. Anyone with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms will be given a mask to wear and sent to the Care Mobile unit.

We advise that you follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines during your visit by limiting contact with others and the surfaces you touch. Please do not climb/play on the equipment in the waiting room. 

Administrative Office Hours

We understand this is a confusing and stressful time. Although we are limiting our clinic appointments, our administrative offices will remain open during normal business hours, so that we may assist you by phone. Employees may be working remotely and on a staggered schedule to enforce social distancing.

Non-urgent Medical Concerns/Questions

At this time, we will also conduct telephone services when non face-to-face medical case management is needed. Please call our office at 423-778-2222 if you have concerns about you or your child’s health as it relates to any neurosurgical problems, so that we can make an individualized care plan. 

For more information, please visit  and  Thank you!  

Colin Magness and his twin brother Vince were born 15 years ago on December 4th. Delivered prematurely at 25 weeks, they both struggled physically, yet Colin had more challenges. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and suffered from a brain bleed, causing hydrocephalus, which is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain.

Colin was so tiny when he was in the NICU that his diaper was literally the size of a saltine cracker. He weighed 1 pound. His head was the size of the top of a soft drink can, and so a sock was used in place of a hat. During the first weeks of his life, he underwent several life-sustaining surgeries to stabilize him before he had a tube and a reservoir put in to manage his hydrocephalus. He eventually had a shunt installed to manage the hydrocephalus. He continued to suffer from respiratory distress and also had several surgeries while in the NICU to revise his shunt.

Five months later, Colin was finally discharged from the NICU, and so our journey with the Boehm Center continued. I still get goose bumps thinking about how devoted the doctors and staff have been all these years. They always speak to us on a level we can understand and are so caring. Dr. Boehm, Sr. even gave us his cell phone number. I haven't heard of other surgeons who readily volunteer that information. It's remarkable.

Colin is now 15 years old and has had about 46 surgeries - mostly related to his shunt. He is blind in one eye, has weakness on his right side, and wears leg braces. But he never lets his birth defects hold him back. He is such an amazing kid - always smiling and making everyone around him smile, too. Active at Red Bank High School, he is also on the Rivermont Dream League baseball team and has participated in the Special Olympics.

This time of year is really special for our family, as we celebrate the miracle of life and Colin and Vince's birthdays. But we never forget how we got to where we are now, and we always find ways to give back. We hope you will consider supporting this unbelievable organization so that they continue to help kids like Colin!   Happy Holidays!

Donna Adkins, Grandmother

Website funded in partnership with Unum

©2022 Walter E. Boehm Birth Defects Center, Inc. All rights reserved. A registered 501(c)(3) organization.
975 E. 3rd Street Chattanooga, TN 37403     PH (423) 778-2222   F (423) 778-6191