How Oak Ridge Keeps Residents Healthy and Vibrant with Topnotch Care

Nestled in East Tennessee, Oak Ridge provides residents of all ages with innovative care and wellness programs.

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Oak Ridge, TN
Courtesy of Don Dudenbostel

From a newborn baby’s first cry to elder health services, Oak Ridge area residents can find expert medical treatment and compassionate care close to home. Emergency services, wellness education, advanced surgical procedures, senior care and behavioral therapy all are part of a health-care system that looks after residents throughout their lives.

Leading the way, Methodist Medical Center provides services to more than 200,000 people in Anderson, Roane, Morgan Campbell and Scott counties at its 301-bed hospital. A staple in the community since it opened in 1945, Methodist today offers more than 30 specialties and extensive community outreach.

“The hospital’s overriding mission is to serve the community by improving the quality of life through better health,” says Crystal Jordan, manager of marketing and business development at Methodist Medical. “As a member of Covenant Health, we are unified by a pledge to put our patients first every day, to strive for excellence in everything we do.”

The hospital has particularly led in coronary care, and early on offered new technologies that helped patients suffering from aneurysms. In cancer care, it was one of the first hospitals in the country to open breast and chest cancer clinics, drastically reducing time between the first suspicion of cancer and treatment. It is also widely known for its orthopedic treatment services, especially concerning knee and hip joints. It offers a Family Birthing Center, sleep diagnostic services, wound care, imaging, intensive care and a 30-bed emergency center among many other services. Its 13-operating-suite surgical facilities offer robotically assisted surgery, neurosurgery and open heart surgery.

Community Care

Methodist is especially strong in its community outreach, offering a calendar of health-oriented events, classes and screenings. It has provided a successful Health Nights on the Town lecture series for more than 30 years, and its monthly presentations by health professionals on a variety of health and wellness topics is well attended.

“While many of the medical center’s classes and activities are tailored for young families, it also offers health management classes and support groups for adults of all ages; smoking cessation and exercise classes for people who want to make important lifestyle changes; workshops for young people; and special events for the entire community,” Jordan says

Senior Services

Seniors are also fortunate to have choices when it comes to their specific needs. Brookdale Oak Ridge, a senior living community, is located beside the Oak Ridge Senior Center and conveniently adjacent to Oak Ridge Municipal Park. It offers 72 assisted-living apartments and a memory care unit. Greenfield Oak Ridge offers independent living, assisted living and memory care options, as well as short-term stays for rehab or caregiver-relief, and hospice support.  Alexander Guest House has been a historic landmark in the community since it opened in the 1930s as the Alexander Inn. Reopened in 2015 as an assisted living facility, the Guest House’s rich history still draws tourists to the place.

“It was a famous place in the community, and it once had a bar, a café and a ballroom,” says wellness director Tyler Ryan. “People used to drop by for a drink after work, and during the Manhattan Project days in the '40s, high-ranking generals and nuclear scientists used to stay here.”

Today the former inn, which has a 72-patient capacity, still honors its history with a lobby display including a timeline and vintage photos, about which visitors and resident love to reminisce.

“We have folks here who met their husbands or wives at the inn, or who got married here,” Ryan says.

Oak Ridge, TN
Michael D. Tedesco

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Behavioral Health Care

Those in need of help with behavioral health issues find expert professional care close by. Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services, which first began serving patients in the early 1960s, provides comprehensive behavioral health services at facilities throughout Oak Ridge and surrounding counties. In 2016 it served more than 7,500 individuals. It offers quick access to help, and has staff on call 24/7 for emergencies.

The Helen Ross McNabb Center, which has been operating since 1968, serves children, youth and families in the region, treating addiction, mental illness and social challenges. Among children’s services are early childhood intervention, social services, foster care, and adoption and juvenile justice services. Adult services address mental health and substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, criminal justice, and social challenges.  

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 10:49