February 9, 2007

Joint venture with HealthSouth ups surgical capacity

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Eternally suave British superspy James Bond would have been proud of this year’s School of Medicine Cadaver Ball, held last weekend at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center. The night, dubbed “Cadaver Ball 007: Vandy Royale,” featured awards and skits by first- and fourth-year medical students and some faculty members.

Here, First-year VUSM students kicked up their heels during their dance number.
(photo by Anne Rayner)

Joint venture with HealthSouth ups surgical capacity

Seeking more capacity for surgical cases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center last week purchased part ownership in SCA Nashville Surgery Center, an outpatient facility with five operating rooms, located a little more than a mile from the Medical Center, at 1717 Patterson Street.

The agreement, signed Jan. 31, gives Vanderbilt a 40 percent share in the facility. The majority owner, HealthSouth Corp., retains a 60 percent share. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

HealthSouth, which is also a longtime partner in Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, will manage the facility with input from Vanderbilt's Perioperative Patient Care Center. The facility opened in 1992.

Vanderbilt Medical Group anesthesiologists began providing services at the facility on Jan. 15, and this week were joined by VMG surgeons and Vanderbilt OR staff. By July, using four of the five operating rooms, Vanderbilt is expected to build to a rate of 3,000 cases a year at the facility. The facility will also continue to support community surgeons.

Vanderbilt surgical services using the facility this year will include Otolaryngologic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, General Surgery, Oncologic Surgery and Urologic Surgery.

“This near-to-campus expansion helps serve our goals for growth and patient access, providing a convenient nearby option and freeing up OR time here on campus. This also works out at a lower cost than we would face if we constructed a facility from scratch,” said C. Wright Pinson, M.D., M.B.A., associate vice chancellor for Clinical Affairs and chief medical officer.

“In a given surgical specialty, certain types of outpatient cases require longer recovery time, and those will continue to be done here on campus. But many outpatient cases would be well accommodated at facilities like Patterson Street,” said Dan Beauchamp, M.D., chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences.

“The informatics and computer support that our physicians and staff are used to working with here on campus have already been installed, and the facility stands ready to accommodate our equipment and supply requirements. We welcome this latest solution to our continuing growth needs, and I thank the business development team for helping to make it happen,” Beauchamp said.

Joe Clark, president of the surgery division of HealthSouth, said, “The Nashville community, Vanderbilt and HealthSouth will all benefit greatly through this partnership. We are excited about furthering our relationship with an institution that enjoys an international reputation for excellence such as Vanderbilt.”

The agreement was handled on Vanderbilt's end by Pinson; Bob Vraciu, vice president for business development; Jeff Kaplan, associate vice chancellor; and Bret Perisho, director of finance, business development and corporate planning with the Department of Finance.