Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt broke ground Oct. 29 on a new 37,500-square-foot facility that will significantly expand pediatric specialty care, outpatient surgery and imaging services to children in Rutherford and surrounding counties.
“We could not be more excited about the future opening of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland. “The Children’s Specialty and After-Hours Clinic on Kennedy Drive off Medical Center Parkway is already meeting the unique health needs of children. When VUMC opens its new facility it will have a tremendous economic impact to our community with high-paying health care jobs and the quality of medical services Vanderbilt provides.”
Leaders with Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), joined by members of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, local and state officials and members of the community, held a ceremony to celebrate the launch of the $27.2 million construction project, which is estimated to open in late 2019.
“This new facility is important for the mission of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, allowing us to increase convenience and advance healthcare services for children and families living in Rutherford and adjacent counties,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC. “I want to express our appreciation to Mayor McFarland and leaders with Murfreesboro and Rutherford County for their collaboration as we bring this new facility to fruition.”
“Every day, we provide inpatient and outpatient care to more than 1,700 children and their families, and the number of families seeking our care in Middle Tennessee and beyond is growing,” said Luke Gregory, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital. “As we continue to expand, we want to ensure that our quality specialty care is available to families when they need it, close to home. We are thankful and proud of the tremendous community support for this project, which we could not do without our many wonderful community partners.”
The single-story facility, to be located on Garrison Drive in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will feature 22 multispecialty clinic rooms, after-hours/urgent care services, a suite of operating rooms, imaging capabilities such as MRI, CT and X-ray, audiology booths for hearing tests and procedural areas.
Pediatric specialties that will be on site include gastroenterology, general surgery, orthopaedics, otolaryngology and audiology and urology.
“Many of the children and families who seek our specialty care and outpatient surgical care at Children’s Hospital live in the Rutherford County area. Our mission as a children’s hospital is to make quality, compassionate care available to all children,” said John W. Brock III, MD, senior vice president of Pediatric Surgical Services, surgeon-in-chief, director of the Division of Pediatric Urology and Monroe Carell Jr. Professor.
“We also understand the importance of convenience and ease of access to that care for our families. With the new outpatient clinic and surgery center in Murfreesboro, families will receive the same great care for their children that had made us the only children’s hospital in the state to be ranked in 10 out of 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. We will have dedicated pediatric-trained surgeons, anesthesiologists and other caregivers providing the very best in care for children.”
In 2016, Children’s Hospital opened a Vanderbilt Children’s After-Hours and Pediatric Specialty Clinic location in Murfreesboro, located on Kennedy Drive, not far from the new facility land site. The clinic provides pediatric specialty care in the areas of cardiology, neurology, general surgery, gastroenterology and urology. The After-Hours clinic provides walk-in care for children of all ages when most pediatricians’ offices have closed for the day or weekend. The clinic ensures consistency of care by sending a report about the visit to the child’s community pediatrician. The After-Hours and Specialty Clinic will relocate to the new Garrison Drive space once it is complete.
“We are excited to be breaking ground on our newest facility to support the Vanderbilt Children’s Clinic in Murfreesboro. Since we launched our specialty and after-hours programs in 2016, they have been hugely successful — so much so that families have asked for more services,” said Meg Rush, MD, MMHC, executive medical director and chief of staff of Children’s Hospital.
“This new facility will allow us to expand our services to include ambulatory surgical cases and procedures as well as sedated imaging studies. We are thrilled to be able to support the children of Murfreesboro, surrounding Rutherford and other counties, with services closer to home. This project is a natural extension of our existing services in this community,” Rush added.
Rutherford County is one of the fastest growing counties in Tennessee, with estimated projections showing that the region’s pediatric population for the area — including Rutherford, Cannon, Warren and Bedford counties — is expected grow 8.5 percent over the next five years. Murfreesboro is also one of the fastest growing cities in the nation.
“We are spreading our subspecialty care and services out across Tennessee because it is the right thing to do. Not all of our families are able to travel for care; yet, families want and need care near their home. We are at now almost 20 locations across the state providing multispecialty care, and we want to continue to expand our services to better serve our families,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital pediatrician-in-chief and the James C. Overall Professor.
Children’s Hospital expects to staff the facility with about 80 employees, including doctors, nurses and additional staff with hopes to expand further in the future.
Image: Architect’s rendering of the exterior of the new Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital facility in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Photo: Leaders from Rutherford County and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Monroe Carell Jr. Hospital at Vanderbilt gather for the groundbreaking for the new facility.