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Fifty years might not be a long time, geologically speaking, but the time frame is a milestone for Southern Tennessee Medical Center, which celebrated its golden anniversary Friday.
A small crowd gathered in the hospital’s cafeteria Friday afternoon to pay tribute to STMC, now known as Southern Tennessee Regional Health System, for its five decades serving patients in the immediate area.
Franklin County Mayor Richard Stewart signed a proclamation honoring the hospital’s years of service to the community and designated May 16 Southern Tennessee Regional Health System Day.
The hospital opened its doors on April 13, 1965, housing 44 hospital beds and 35 nursing home beds. Fifty years later the hospital has joined forces with three other regional hospitals to form the Southern Tennessee Regional Health System (STRHS).
Southern Tennessee Medical Center in Winchester, Emerald Hodgson Hospital in Sewanee, Hillside Hospital in Pulaski, and Crockett Hospital in Lawrenceburg make up the Southern Tennessee Regional Health System.
The combined system has 382 licensed beds, more than 300 affiliated physicians, 1,250 employees, and serves more than 160,000 people in rural communities in the region.
The four hospitals, all affiliated with LifePoint Hospitals of Brentwood, joined forces to share best clinical practices for quality care, achieve operational effi ciencies, create organizational scale to enable the addition and expansion of important services, and expand access to primary care services in the southern Middle Tennessee region.
Phil Young, chief executive officer of Southern Tennessee Medical Center, now STRHS – Winchester, and Emerald Hodgson Hospital, now STRHS – Sewanee, will continue to oversee the operations of these facilities and serve as president of STRHS.
Jeff Noblin, CEO of Crockett Hospital in Lawrenceburg, now STRHS-Lawrenceburg and Harold Siglar, CEO of Hillside Hospital in Pulaski, now STRHS-Pulaski, will continue in their current roles.
Young said recently that the partnership provides each of the four hospitals with many benefits to help them better serve the community.
“As affiliates of LifePoint Hospitals since the company’s founding in 1999, our four hospitals have benefi ted from shared services such as information technology, best practices in quality care and patient safety, and access to capital for ongoing investments in facilities and equipment,” he said. “By coming together under this new structure, we will create new opportunities to expand physician coverage in primary care, medical and surgical sub-specialties.
“The new system also will allow our physicians to expand existing services, such as cardiology, orthopedic surgery and others and bring new services previously unavailable to our communities. Additionally, by coordinating certain management services we will realize effi ciencies and standardizations that will advance our commitments to quality care and patient safety, while reducing costs where possible.”
Young said the innovative organizational move is designed to address “unprecedented changes in the healthcare industry.”
The changing healthcare landscape has prompted Life-Point and its southern Tennessee facilities to create STRHS to improve healthcare delivery in Tennessee’s rural communities.
“The four hospitals included in the new health system have been meeting the unique needs of their respective communities for many years,” Young said. “The new health system brings together the combined strengths and resources of the four hospitals to continue to improve quality care and enhance access to important healthcare services to a growing number of Tennesseans.”
All four hospitals are now going by their new names. STMC is now STRHS-Winchester, EHH is now STRHSSewanee, Hillside is now STRHS-Pulaski, Crockett is now STRHS-Lawrenceburg.