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Chattanooga, TN Provides Dynamic Health Care Sector

Learn how Greater Chattanooga hospitals provide the highest quality of care and contribute significantly to the region's economy.

By Heather R. Johnson on May 12, 2017

Chattanooga TN
Chattanooga / Jack Parker

Greater Chattanooga offers a dynamic health care sector that not only provides the highest quality care but contributes significantly to the region’s economy. Health providers in the region continue to invest in technology, treatments and facilities and offer a full range of specialized services. “Improving the region’s health care is vital to the area’s economy,” says Joseph Winick, FACHE, senior vice president, planning, analytics and business development for Erlanger Health System. “Companies benefit from healthy employees and employees can be more active in their community.”

In booming Hamilton County, Tenn., Erlanger recently completed construction on a $50 million patient tower at Erlanger East Hospital. The expansion includes four new operating rooms, 58 new patient beds, a cardiac catheterization suite and even outdoor walking trails. “Erlanger East, with its lifestyle focus, will integrate well with the continuum of care provided at our main campus,” Winick says. “Our goal is to keep you healthy and active.” In June 2016, Erlanger entered into a clinical affiliation agreement with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The affiliation allows Erlanger to stay on the leading edge as the region’s only academic medical center through its affiliation with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Chattanooga Campus.

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) Memorial and its sister hospital, Memorial Hospital Hixson, consistently receive high marks for quality care. CHI Memorial is considered a cardiac care leader. Among other accolades, it ties for 11th in the country for its low 30-day readmission rate for heart attack and heart failure patients.

Parkridge Health System’s five regional facilities provide behavioral health, heart, cancer, and women’s health care, as well as 24/7 emergency services. In October 2016, Parkridge began a $62 million renovation project designed to improve patient flow and enhance care. Plans call for four new operating rooms, surgery area upgrades and an additional cardiac catheterization lab.

DeKalb Regional Serves Fort Payne, AL

For residents in the region’s rural areas, community hospitals and regional medical centers provide needed care without a long commute. What these facilities lack in size they make up for in patient attention.

The 134-bed DeKalb Regional Medical Center in Fort Payne, Ala., provides everything from emergency medicine to general surgery, cardiac care, orthopedics, a sleep clinic, and Ob/Gyn. It also offers wellness programs for women and for adults over 50. “It’s important to have a strong hospital that can take care of people’s emergencies,” says CEO Patrick Trammell. “We’re ready to step in and help people get stabilized and back on their feet.” Trammell says the hospital plans to expand its cardiac and neurology capabilities in 2017.

Erlanger Health plans to build a $25 million, 25-bed regional hospital in Sequatchie County, Tenn., and is looking to expand an existing emergency facilities in Bledsoe County, Tenn., with an $8 million upgrade.

Murray Medical Center in Chatsworth, Ga., serves the mountainous Murray County area. For residents in the region’s rural communities, Murray Medical offers a high-quality option close to home. “For a community-based hospital, we provide a wide range of services,” says Karen Steely, Murray Medical Center administrator. “If you have an acute care or outpatient need that doesn’t require a long-term stay, we’re there.” Murray Medical Center recently added an orthopedic surgeon and general surgeon to its team.

Copperhill, Tenn., is a town of less than 500, but its Copper Basin Medical Center cares for residents of several communities in the Tri-State area. The main center offers emergency services, outpatient surgery, lab work and imaging, while its specialty clinic provides general surgery and cardiology, ophthalmology, and urology services. Copper Basin also provides a number of free classes and screenings to promote a healthy lifestyle. “We take care of the basic health care needs of our people,” says Copper Basin Medical Center CEO Anna Clark. “For more intensive care, we offer easy and efficient transfer to Chattanooga hospitals.” Copper Basin performs cardiac stress tests, colonoscopies and other medical procedures with a zero percent infection rate. “We’re small, but we do these procedures very well,” Clark says.

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