March 26, 2004

VMG expands in Williamson County

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James E. “Pete” Powell, M.D., was recently named medical director of VMG’s Williamson County division. Photo by Dana Johnson

VMG expands in Williamson County

Dr. Kurt Spindler examines patient Danny Newman at the new Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Clinic in Franklin. Photo by Dana Johnson

Dr. Kurt Spindler examines patient Danny Newman at the new Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Clinic in Franklin. Photo by Dana Johnson

Vanderbilt Medical Group is expanding its presence south of Nashville in rapidly-growing Williamson County.

Sixteen of the county’s established community physicians joined VMG effective Jan. 1, bringing the VMG presence in the county to 38 physicians and eight physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners spread among five VMG practice sites in Franklin and the Cool Springs area.

“This recent merger extends the values, knowledge and support for clinical quality of a leading academic medical center to more of our colleagues in community practice, and brings new opportunities for seamless integration of care delivery,” said Dave R. Posch, VMG chief operating officer.

James E. “Pete” Powell, M.D., an internist and pediatrician who has practiced for nine years in Williamson County, has been appointed to the newly created position of medical director, VMG Williamson County division, and has joined the VMG board of directors.

“I’ll be working to increase communication between Vanderbilt and the various practice sites in Williamson County,” Powell said. “As a member of the VMG board, I’ll be a voice for community practice.”

“Our plan in Williamson County is to continue to grow and develop Vanderbilt’s presence in primary and specialty care,” Posch said. Noting the long-term national trend of people seeking health services closer to home, Posch commented on the importance of securing Vanderbilt’s position in Williamson County. “We are developing an organizational structure to oversee and manage medical operations and the growth and development of our services, ensuring that our efforts are coordinated and that the care delivery system is integrated, while managing relationships with local providers and hospitals effectively.”

The Williamson County community physicians, who joined VMG Jan. 1, were all formerly with Vanderbilt Integrated Providers, a wholly owned subsidiary of VUMC that was formed several years ago to manage Vanderbilt’s affiliated community practices around Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky. VIP practices operate under the name Vanderbilt Health Services, and Posch is president of the company. Merging Williamson’s VIP practices into VMG erases certain legal limitations that hinder the exchange of patient information and the rotating of providers between separate corporations with separate tax numbers.

“The merger allows us to be part of the Vanderbilt family and use the full resources of the medical center, including billing, marketing and informatics,” Powell said. Vanderbilt’s electronic medical records system, StarChart, will be expanded to Williamson County within the next 12 months, he said.

The latest Vanderbilt department to initiate services in Williamson County is Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. As of March 8, five orthopaedists based at VUMC began practicing part of the week in Williamson County; this initial group provides care for patients with hand problems, spine problems and sports injuries. By the end of March, this initial contingent of orthopaedists will be joined by four full-time physical and occupational therapists.

Some VMG Williamson County physicians and advance practice nurses are full-time community providers, others divide their practice between Williamson County and the VUMC campus.

Franklin Orthopaedic Clinic Opens

by Barb Cramer

The new Vanderbilt Orthopaedic Clinic is open for business in Franklin. Developed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the new clinic provides orthopaedic care in hand, spine, shoulder and sports medicine, in addition to on-site physical therapy and occupational therapy.

The new clinic, located in the Vanderbilt Walk-in Clinic facility at 919 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin, opened the first week in March, according to Kurt Spindler, M.D., director of the Vanderbilt Sports Medicine Center.

“We recognize that 20 percent of our patients in orthopaedics in Nashville come from the Franklin area, and we want to give them more convenient access to physicians, rehabilitation and imaging,” said Spindler, professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. “We are now providing sub-specialty access to orthopaedics in a convenient location to an expanding population in Williamson County.”

Five orthopaedic specialists are at the Vanderbilt Orthopaedics Clinic in Franklin. By the end of March, two physical therapists will join the Franklin clinic, along with one certified athletic trainer.

Spindler says some surgery will be done in the Cool Springs Outpatient Clinic in Franklin, while more major surgeries will be done at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

“Our goal is to give patients choices for highly specialized orthopaedic health care,” Spindler said, “with rehabilitation and physicians within a half hour of a patient’s home.”

“This is a full-time project we have developed in Franklin,” said Spindler. “We are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling 250-2290.

“We plan to make this a major practice site for Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, providing all the specialists we have to offer. We want Williamson County patients to know we are down in Franklin, ready to take care of them.”