Rutherford County’s unprecedented growth is being met head-on by the county’s health care community. To meet the needs of a rapidly growing Middle Tennessee region, the county’s major medical centers, including Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center, TrustPoint Hospital and Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter, are expanding both their facilities and services.
Bigger and Better
Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, for example, is in the midst of a $47 million expansion that will include the addition of 72 patient beds, a 13,000-square-foot ambulatory surgical treatment center and a new Clinical Decision Unit that will house 25 beds for patients staying less than 24 hours. TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center in Smyrna is responding to an increase in emergency care needs with a $10.5 million expansion of its emergency room. The project will add 17 new beds as well as a behavioral health unit.
“We've definitely seen an increase in our ER. A lot of that is because patients want somewhere that's close,” says Kerry Lovelace Rogers, marketing director for TriStar StoneCrest Medical Center. “Because of the counties that we border, depending on proximity, we are seeing more patients come here for care versus going into Nashville. That has really impacted us, and it's having us develop a strategic plan for the next few years. We’re asking ourselves, ‘what service lines do we need to make sure that we are continuing to grow and keep pace as people move into this area and the surrounding areas?’”
Rogers also notes the economic impact the medical center’s expansion will have on the community.“For StoneCrest, it’s more than just providing care. We also have the opportunity to hire individuals that are moving into this area. Those families are able to receive excellent medical care here in the community, versus having to travel to downtown Nashville,” she says.
Behavioral Health, Close to Home
TrustPoint Hospital in Murfreesboro is also undergoing a major expansion that will add more than 100 beds and up to 400 new jobs over the next five years. TrustPoint has only been in the community for a little over five years, however, the hospital’s rapid growth is in direct response to an ever-increasing demand for behavioral health care.
“We’re an acute care hospital, which means we have inpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation and treat strokes, traumatic brain injuries, multiple trauma and all types of very serious medical conditions,” says Jeffrey Woods, CEO, TrustPoint Hospital. “But we also have medical psychiatry. We treat patients who are going through alcohol or drug detoxing withdrawal, as well as general medical patients who have a co-occurring psychiatric condition.”
Woods says after the hospital was acquired in 2016 by Acadia Health Care, based in Franklin, Tenn., there was an opportunity to grow the hospital.
“So we are adding 110,000 additional square feet to the facility, and we are going from 101 beds to 217 beds. The project will include an expansion to our inpatient rehabilitation, clinical medical rehabilitation department, adding additional services and beds there,” Woods says. “We will be adding for the first time in Rutherford County, comprehensive outpatient physical medicine and rehabilitation services and a new state-of-the-art gym to support that. We are increasing the size of our medical psychiatry department, so it will be able to take care of a larger number of patients who are in need of those services. And we are adding additional psychiatry services to include for the first time child and adolescent services, inpatient. I think having access to care that is close to home and care that is state-of-the-art provides for the health and wellness of the community, which promotes both economic development, as well as the well-being of our neighbors.”
Likewise, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic & SurgiCenter works to ensure residents are able to receive quality care right in their own community. The center is an independently owned physician clinic that has provided care in Rutherford County for more than 60 years. The clinic offers more than two dozen specialty care areas and has more than 60 physicians on staff. In 2017, MMC opened a state-of-the art outpatient Endovascular Lab that will allow its Vascular Surgery and Vein Center to perform a range of procedures including venograms, arteriograms and angioplasty of the lower extremities. MMC is also in the planning stages of a new 25,000-square-foot clinic on the south side of Murfreesboro.
“As we look to the expected growth of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County over the next 20 years, it is imperative that we grow as a medical community to meet that population growth,” says Joey Peay, CEO, Murfreesboro Medical Clinic. “Therefore, we continue to recruit new physicians to the community while also looking for additional services to bring to the community. This community has richly blessed MMC, and MMC has found ways to pay it forward through our continued commitment to serving our community.”