Ascension Saint Thomas has invested millions in Rutherford’s health since 2010
- The hospital continues to recruit surgeons for its medical staff of 400
- Hospital adds three floors in 2020 for an 8-story tower
- The hospital has 1,400 employees
- Saint Thomas invests outside Gateway for outpatient surgery center and 8-bed neighborhood hospital
Major investments in healthcare in the Murfreesboro area followed the $ 278 million opening of Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in 2010.
“We are committed to expanding our quality care and services, and to continuing to serve residents of Rutherford County and surrounding areas,” said Gordon Ferguson, president and CEO of the hospital.
Ferguson said it was a privilege to continue a health care service that began in 1927 as Rutherford Hospital. The hospital, previously known as Middle Tennessee Medical Center, moved almost 11 years ago to the thriving Murfreesboro Gateway neighborhood, off Interstate 24, from downtown North Highland Avenue. .
Saint Thomas purchased 68.3 acres for $ 5.4 million on what is known today as Medical Center Parkway from Murfreesboro City Council in December 2001.
The hospital’s main campus accounts for the bulk of the $ 500 million investments Ascension Saint Thomas has made in Rutherford County for more than a decade. Other health care providers followed Saint Thomas to the Gateway area, including the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and the Surgery and Children’s Clinics Department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Locally, the hospital receives 20,000 patient discharges, 70,000 emergency department visits and performs approximately 9,000 surgeries each year.
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Investments outside Gateway
Ascension will also open a $ 16 million outpatient surgery center in August on 3 acres near an existing Saint Thomas Medical Partners building providing health care services on the new Salem Highway near St. Andrews Drive.
Saint Thomas bought the 3 acres in 2018 for $ 1.5 million. The development will include two operating rooms and a procedure room that will provide services closer to where many patients live.
The 13,000 square foot ambulatory surgery center will include gastrointestinal, urology and general surgery departments. The second floor of the building will house the offices of Ascension Medical Group, as well as space to help cope with growth.
Hospital board chairman Bill Jones is pleased with the growth in healthcare and said it helps make Rutherford a more attractive community for people to live in and businesses in which to live in. to settle down.
“I always tell people that almost everyone at some point needs the services of their local hospital, and subconsciously the community needs it to be the best it can be,” said Jones, who is also president of Rutherford County. Industrial Development Board. “And I believe the doctors, nurses and staff are providing this level of high quality care to our community.”
Starting this fall, Ascension will begin construction of a neighborhood hospital in the Blackman area. Named Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Westlawn Hospital, the $ 24.6 million neighborhood hospital is slated to open by fall 2022 in the Westlawn development on Veterans Parkway off Interstate 840. Officials said that eight beds would be moved from the hospital’s main campus into the neighborhood health gateway. care campus.
Although the hospital moved to the Gateway area in 2010, Saint Thomas has maintained a downtown presence by keeping its Saint Louise clinic open to train doctors and provide charitable health care to the uninsured and under. insured at the North Highland Avenue office.
The hospital has 1,400 employees and about 400 physicians who are medical staff, Ferguson said.
“We also continue to recruit new physicians and various specialties to support our clinical programs,” Ferguson said.
Hospital adds three floors in 2020
The Saint Thomas investment includes an $ 84 million expansion that added two finished floors and an unfinished third floor for future growth of the hospital’s main campus.
The 60,000 square foot expansion completed in 2020 allowed the hospital to add 72 patient beds for a new total of 358. The Saint Thomas expansion included a 25-bed clinical decision unit for in-patient patients. less than 24 hours.
The hospital has also increased the operating rooms from 12 to 16. Two of the operating rooms will be used for cardiovascular surgery departments which obtained a certificate of approval of need on June 23 from Tennessee Health Services and Development. Agency.
Ascension will invest $ 5.6 million in cardiac surgery equipment and is recruiting two cardiovascular surgeons to lead the Saint Thomas Heart team in Murfreesboro, Ferguson said. One operating room will be reserved for scheduled open heart surgeries and the other for emergency cardiovascular needs.
Contact reporter Scott Broden at [email protected] or 615-278-5158. Follow him on Twitter @ScottBroden.