Dr. Jim Osborn: Finding joy in foundation work
by BETTIE MARLOWE Banner Staff Writer
Jan 12, 2014 | 2357 views | 0 0 comments | 77 77 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Jim Osborn
Jim and Amy Jo Osborn  have three children: Zoe, 6; Annabelle, 4, and James Michael II, 3. Their first son, Austin “Hatch” Hatcher died due to a brain tumor within weeks after birth. In his memory, the Osborns founded Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
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“Life is a journey,” Dr. Jim Osborn observed. “Everything in life,” he said, “has meaning down the road.” The proof of this statement is his own journey beginning at Loma Linda, Calif., where he was born.

His education began in accounting at Southern Adventist University, then on to Asheville, N.C., where he studied economics and pre-med. He received his masters of science in public health with his research concentration on medical parasitology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., then back across the continent to Loma Linda University Medical Center to complete his medical school and orthopedic surgery residency. After serving on active duty in the military in Spokane, Wash., Osborn completed an ACGME accredited Chicago Spine Fellowship program in Chicago.

He moved to Ooltewah in 2000 and is now with SkyRidge Medical Center, where he is providing orthopedic spine services, with Garrick Cason, M.D., to patients of all ages in Cleveland and the surrounding areas. Drs. Osborn and Cason are the region’s only spine surgeons who are trained at an ACGME accredited spine fellowship and are the only spine faculty for theorthopedic surgery residency program at University of Tennessee College Of Medicine at Chattanooga.

In the meantime, Osborn, a racing enthusiast, has used his interest in auto racing to raise money to support specialized programs for families affected by pediatric cancer. He met his wife, Amy Jo, while racing cars and they were married shortly after. Little did they think their first child, Austin Hatcher “Hatch” Osborn, born Aug. 15, 2006, would shortly develop pediatric cancer (a brain tumor) and die within weeks.

“I was never sure,” Osborn said, “whether to quit or work harder.” The Osborns made the decision to work harder and founded a nonprofit charitable organization — Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer (hatcherfoundation.org). He serves as chairman of the board for the foundation and is medical director of Hatch’s House of Hope, the regions only psycho-oncology center (hatchshouse.org). The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, Osborn said, fills the support gap for families of children with pediatric cancer. Since 2006, the foundation has provided service to more than 50,000 patients associated with 22 hospitals in 14 states.

The mission statement reads: The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer’s mission is to erase the effects of pediatric cancer and optimize each child’s quality of life through essential specialized intervention beginning at the time of diagnosis and continuing throughout survivorship. The Foundation provides services to children with cancer, as well as their families, in association with Pediatric Oncology centers and through the Foundation's cancer care center, Hatch’s House of Hope. The Foundation provides all services at no cost to the families. Services are funded solely by the generous donations of supporters.

In November 2013, Dr. and Mrs. Jim Osborn, as founders of the Austin Hatcher Foundation, received the Southeastern Tennessee Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropic Impact Award. The association celebrated philanthropy in the Chattanooga area, recognizing many local philanthropist and corporations.

According to Osborn, the Foundation has approximately 190 days of events each year. This year, a hot rod 1971 Chevrolet C10 pickup truck (hatcherfoundation.org/ChevyC10Details/) the Osborns built and donated to the foundation will be sold at the world famous Barrett Jackson automobile auction lot No. 1612 in Scottsdale Ariz., on Jan. 19. And in Cleveland, Lee University’s women’s soccer team will be “Kicking It” again in September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.

Osborn discussed the effect on parents and siblings, who are dealing with pediatric cancer in their families. A child diagnosed with cancer gets zapped with chemo and radiation through three years of treatment. This takes a toll on parents and siblings and the foundation focuses on coping with side effects to the family. Parents often need help to deal with stress. Siblings can feel left out because attention is going to the sick child’s getting special treatment. Problems in school are possible as a result for both the child receiving the necessary toxic treatments and their siblings. The Osborn felt that educational services through the foundation could fill the gap in complete medical care, giving support for the whole family.

The foundation teamed with the Tennessee Cancer Coalition, Lee University and UTC to develop a “Fueling Potential: Racing to Win” program (written for K-5) to teach children how to make healthy lifestyle choices that can reduce their lifetime risk of developing cancer. The program addresses four activities: exercise, tobacco use prevention, healthy eating, and melanoma prevention (sun safety). Through working with eight elementary schools and four community locations, the “Fueling Potential: Racing to Win” program educated 3,735 elementary students on healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce their lifetime risk of cancer.

These schools were provided services in 2013: Valley View Elementary, Waterville Community, North Lee Elementary, Park View Elementary, Michigan Avenue Elementary, Hopewell Elementary and Black Fox Elementary, as well as Cleveland YMCA, Boys & Girls Club: Powers Unit, Tucker Unit and Cleveland State Community College Unit.

“We are working on expanding from eight to 12 schools in 2014, as well as providing more services for community organizations” said Ray Lallier, director of operations for the foundation.

Future plans also include expanding services by teaching children how to avoid cancer. Osborn said 64 percent of cases could potentially be prevented.

And the Osborns know the importance of this teaching as they have three children: Zoe (name means life), 6; Annabelle (names means Eve) 4, and James Michael II, 3.

The Osborns’ foundation work, they agree, is “done out of love” — there is no financial reward, “we put our money where our heart is ... and we could not be as successful nationwide without others doing the same”

It’s a constant effort for Osborn — the Foundation employees joke that he works the foundation's “third shift.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Osborn is a member of several medical societies including Scoliosis Research Society, American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, Tennessee Medical Association, Southern Orthopedic Association, International Spine Intervention Society, International Psychosocial Oncology Society and the American Psychosocial Oncology Society and Tennessee Cancer Coalition. He has been awarded the Tennessee Medical Association’s Distinguished Service Award, the Local Hero Award from Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Governor’s Award of Merit by the State of Tennessee.

FOUNDATION PROGRAMS: Psycho-Oncology Division Healthy Lifestyle Division Diversionary Therapy Division

The Psycho-Oncology division is focused on restoring and maximizing the emotional, academic and social development of the child, family members and family unit after a diagnosis of pediatric cancer is made. Although this process focuses on the child with cancer, optimum recovery from the toxic but life-saving oncologic treatments may not be reached without addressing educational, academic and parenting issues that may exist within the household prior to the onset of cancer.

These services are tailored to the individuals needs and are offered beginning at the diagnosis of cancer and provided throughout the child and families life span. Psycho-oncology services are performed by certified therapists and licensed psychologists. The Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer provides these services through their Pediatric Oncology Center, Hatch’s House of Hope, and through collaborative efforts at pediatric oncology centers across the United States.

The Healthy Lifestyle division is to equip children with the knowledge necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices while reducing their risk of cancer tomorrow. The division addresses four key risk factors that contribute to 65 percent of all adult cancer diagnosis. The four risk factors addressed are: nutrition, tobacco prevention, exercise and sun safety (skin cancer prevention).

The “Fueling Potential: Racing to Win” program teaches children in grades K-5 to imagine their bodies as a race car and provides four interactive teaching stations. Children learn how to provide their race car with the best fuel (by choosing appropriate foods), keep their engine strong (by exercising appropriately), providing optimal performance (saying no to tobacco products) and by keeping their car bright and shiny (taking

the appropriate sun safety precautions).

Fueling Potential: Racing to Win is taught both in elementary schools and at community events by licensed teachers employed by the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.

Diversionary Therapy division provides families faced with pediatric cancer with organized VIP experiences at special events, in cooperation with selected children’s hospitals nationwide. T

hese activities provide a unique experience for families faced with pediatric cancer to enjoy a special event providing physical, emotional and spiritual well-being at no charge.

Our Children’s Hospital based Diversionary Therapy program provides children and families with the opportunity to interact with event specific celebrities in a fun atmosphere without leaving the hospital unit.

Community based Diversionary Therapy programs provide families with the opportunity to attend national events and interact with event coordinators and celebrities.



Hatch’s House of Hope is a landmark pediatric cancer care center providing children and their families with the tools needed to cope and thrive at the onset of pediatric cancer, as well as the skills essential to live meaningful and productive lives as cancer survivors.

The comprehensive services offered at no cost to families by Hatch’s include: problem-solving skills training, individual counseling, group counseling, marital counseling, family counseling, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, hippotherapy (in which a therapist uses the movements of a horse to provide motor skills and sensory input), music therapy, art therapy, academic coaching, school support in implementing an Individual Intervention Plan, social skills training, cognitive skills remediation, respite care, financial counseling, and diversionary therapy events for family enrichment. Services are provided from diagnosis through treatment, during remission, and into adulthood.

For more information, visit www.hatcherfoundation.org.