New General Surgery Clinic expands care to more patientsMay. 3, 2021, 4:08 PM
by Jill Clendening
Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Division of General Surgery, the largest division within the Department of Surgery and one of the Medical Center’s highest volume surgical practices, has moved the majority of its practice into a new space in Hillsboro Village.
Just a half mile from the main Medical Center campus, the clinic at 2111 Belcourt Avenue, Suite 103 (Side B), is the patient care site for nearly all facets of elective general surgery. This includes consultations for the surgical treatment of abdominal wall, incisional, inguinal and hiatal hernias; gastric reflux; gallbladders; and many more conditions.
In addition, a weekly “fast-track” clinic is held there, and patients with common, general surgical issues can be seen to expedite care and minimize patients’ recovery time and time away from work.
“As we have increased the number of providers, our old clinic space was holding back the number of patients we could treat daily,” said Timothy Geiger, MD, MMHC, chief of the Division of General Surgery and executive medical director of the Surgery Patient Care Center (PCC). “Now, with a new, larger space, we can accommodate more patients and improve flow through the system. In addition, we have room to more easily provide telemedicine visits for certain diagnoses and a treatment space.”
The General Surgery Clinic shares the location with the Vanderbilt Health Hillsboro Village Walk-in Clinic, which occupies side A. The entire space totals 6,627 square feet, with each practice occupying approximately half the footprint. This provides the shared benefit of on-site X-ray, EKG and lab services, a convenience for both patients and clinicians. There are plans to add ultrasound capability in the future.
“We see approximately 4,000 patients annually, and we expect to see that number continue to increase,” said Chetan Aher, MD, assistant professor of General Surgery. “With six large exam rooms and a treatment room for any necessary minor procedures, our clinical staff now has plenty of space in a beautiful setting to provide the very best care for our patients.”
While individuals may have delayed a needed general surgery procedure such as a hernia repair during the pandemic, there are many precautions in place at the General Surgery Clinic to safeguard both patients and staff, including temperature screening, physical distancing and regular disinfection in the waiting area, and thorough disinfection of exam and treatment rooms between use.
“Continuing to put off care for what is a minor issue might unfortunately result in the need for a more complex surgery with a longer recovery,” said Corrie Berry, RN, director of the Surgery PCC. “The safety of our patients and staff is always a top priority, and our new, expanded clinic makes it even easier to take needed precautions. We’re loving this bright, new space, and what we’re hearing from our patients and their families is that they’re enjoying the change as well.”
Clinicians at the Belcourt General Surgery location include nine fellowship-trained surgeons, two specialized nurse practitioners, one fellow, four nurses and a patient care technician. Two pre-appointment coordinators and one dedicated patient service specialist manage scheduling and assisting patients throughout their care.
In addition to garage parking connected to the General Surgery Clinic, an amenity both staff and patients appreciate, the clinic has an abundance of large windows that add natural light and nature-themed art that gives the space a bright, welcoming feel.
The windows have brought another unexpected perk: They provide opportunities for clinic staff to greet residents and their furry companions as they pass by on walks, said Drew Walls, RN, assistant manager of Patient Care Services for the Surgery PCC.
The Vanderbilt Colon and Rectal Surgery program under the Division of General Surgery is located at Medical Arts Building, Room 220, with satellite locations in Franklin and Spring Hill, Tennessee. The Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Weight Loss, also under General Surgery, remains at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks, Suite 22200, with satellite locations in Clarksville, Jackson, Lebanon and Murfreesboro, Tennessee.