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Vanderbilt University Medical Center files for new Certificate of Need to build Rutherford Co. hospital

Sep. 15, 2021, 7:36 AM

Artist rendering of the proposed Vanderbilt Rutherford Hospital.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is strengthening its commitment to serve the health care needs of the citizens of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.

On Oct. 1, VUMC will file with Tennessee’s Health Services and Development Agency a Certificate of Need application requesting approval to build a new 42-bed hospital in Murfreesboro.

The facility, to be called Vanderbilt Rutherford Hospital, will be constructed on property owned by VUMC located at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and S.R. 840 with a projected cost of $144,276,600.

Vanderbilt Rutherford Hospital will be a full-service community hospital providing emergency room services, obstetrics, surgical capabilities and cardiac catheterization services, and it will bring additional ICU capacity to the community.

A similar application for a proposed Vanderbilt Rutherford Hospital was previously considered by the Health Services and Development Agency in August 2020 but was denied in the face of opposition from Saint Thomas Rutherford, StoneCrest Medical Center and Williamson Medical Center.

“We did not undertake the decision to submit a new application for Vanderbilt Rutherford Hospital lightly. But we have heard from numerous people in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, including state and local government officials, community and business leaders, fellow health care professionals, and, most importantly, many of our patients, who are vocal supporters of these plans and continue to encourage us to move forward with this proposal,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.

VUMC already supports a substantial commitment to area residents, providing more than $8 million in charity care per year and investing more than $40.5 million in capital investments over the past three years. In addition, VUMC currently employs more than 1,700 people who live in the Rutherford County area.

“In the last year, Vanderbilt has treated more than 52,000 Rutherford County residents, many of whom travel downtown to our main campus for care. That is a 20% increase since 2018. Our commitment is to make VUMC’s services more convenient for our patients while also meeting the future needs of the county’s remarkable growth,” Pinson said.

According to the 2020 Census, Rutherford County’s population grew by 30% in the past 10 years.  Unfortunately, the number of hospital beds has not kept up with Rutherford County’s explosive growth. Today, Rutherford County has 53% fewer staffed hospital beds per resident than the average of Tennessee’s other large counties. There is a clear and imminent need for more hospital services in the community.

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