Rutherford hospital, Inc. was established in 1927 through a contribution from the Commonwealth Fund of New York City. It began as a 37 bed, private, not-for-profit hospital with the mission to operate “for the welfare of mankind.” Translated into a policy, that meant that the hospital had a commitment to care for all Rutherford Countians regardless of race, creed, color or ability to pay. The following is a brief history of major milestones in the hospital which was, in 1982, renamed Middle Tennessee Medical Center (MTMC).
1954 – Reorganization
Immediate needs of correction of deficiencies in the financial structure and an addition to modernize ancillary services were overshadowed by a $64,000 debt that had to be retired. The county and city courts were persuaded that their payments of $6,000 and $10,000 per year, respectively, for the care of the indigent were inadequate and, indeed, had contributes to the hospital’s indebtedness. Both courts agreed to pay half of the outstanding debt, with certain stipulations. The City Court paid half the debt with the understanding that future appropriations would cease. The County Court’s requirement was that the Board would be changed to one that would “put the place in order.” The change in Board membership and responsibilities was implemented later that year.
1958 – Second Addition
The only previous addition to the original structure had been completed in 1952. The 1958 addition included a new Surgical Suite with 2 Operating Rooms, a 4 bed Recovery Room, and all other Operating Room supportive services. Thirty new beds were added, as well as two Delivery Rooms, a Clinical Laboratory, X-Ray Department and Central Supply Room.
1962 – Third Addition
This addition, created the juncture of “A” and “B” Buildings and part of the crossover area, and added 3 additional Operating Rooms: 1 General Surgery, 1 Urology, and 1 orthopedic. Forty beds were added in a wing that is the first floor of a future “West Wing” or “B” Building. It was constructed on “stilts” and joined the hospital at the end of the middle wing. Also added were a Pharmacy, Medical Library and 2 Emergency Rooms.
1967 – Fourth Addition
The 1967 addition completed the “B” Building and there was the feeling that, because of all of the hospital’s land had been used, the facility was complete. Soon, however, the facility did not allow for the fulfillment of patient care demands and another addition was planned. The fourth addition created 66 new beds, a new Clinical laboratory, Radiology Suite, Emergency Room Suite, Obstetric Floor and Pediatric Floor. The Critical Care Pavilion, now housing laser surgery, included Intensive Care, Coronary Care and Recovery beds. Also added were a newly enlarged Central Supply Department, Laundry, Kitchen and Cafeteria.
1978 – Fifth Addition
The 1978 addition, "C" Building and the crossover corridor, was the boldest, most extensive construction program ever undertaken by the hospital. It added 89 beds, a new Intensive Care/Coronary Care Unit, Nuclear Medicine Unit, newly enlarged Pharmacy, and a Medical Records Department. A Board Room, Education Classroom, Conference Room and 3 additional Operating Rooms were also added.
New Name for the Hospital
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the healthcare industry began a period of intense transition that has grown through the years. A period of declining utilization and length of stay averages was the beginning of a dramatic change that would require thoughtful and steady redirection.
The advent of the Prospective Pricing System according to the Diagnosis Related Group, increased competition, and changing consumer expectation and demands mandated a restructure of the corporation. The name was changed to “Middle Tennessee Medical Center, Inc.” to represent a health delivery system. Two new entities, Amicus and Manaco, were established under the MTMC Organization. Amicus Patient Care Services operated Medical Center home Health Care Service and soon-to-open Health Enhancement Center. Medical Accounts Management, The Medical Office Building, and the Medical Center Drug Store operated or will operate under the aegis of Manaco Management Services, Inc.
Since the restructure and name change, MTMC has added CT Scanning and Digital Vascular Imaging, Laser Surgery, and other capabilities too numerous to detail. The Medical Center has extended staff privileges to physicians from previously unrepresented specialties resulting in greater accessibility to comprehensive health care for the regional community.
1986 – Affiliation with Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals
In 1986, MTMC became affiliated with Baptist and Saint Thomas Hospitals in the history-making venture. Since that time, improvements have been made in diagnostic and treatment technology, staffing and benefits, and community programs. In 1988, the Medical Center was granted a Certificate of Need approval for Ancillary Services and Baptist Women’s Pavilion East expansions. The 70,000 square foot expansion, plus 80,000 square foot renovation to the existing facility marked the largest and most comprehensive building project ever undertaken by the hospital and one that greatly assisted in meeting MTMC’s objective of becoming the hospital of choice between Nashville and Chattanooga. The facility opened in April, 1990.
During the 1990’s, several new services were added to the Medical Center:
- In 1989, Neurosurgery services were implemented by Dr. Warren McPherson.
- In November 1993, the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory was opened in an area outside the ICU with state-of-the-art technology.
- In May 1997, MTMC opened the Radiation Therapy unit after acquiring the facility from a private physician. Major renovations were completed as well as the replacement of the linear accelerator and support equipment for the area.
- Neonatology services began in 1998. The Health Facilities Commission granted the hospital a CON for a Neonatal ICU and construction began in 2001 to expand the current Newborn Nursery and add a 13 bed NICU.
Other Construction Projects
Employee Parking Facility: Opened May 1994. The hospital has always offered free parking to both employees and staff. This 138,000 square foot facility was built to offer covered parking for employees while providing the closest parking spaces for patients and visitors. The structure included 405 spaces, a significant increase over the current 159 space parking lot. The structure was designed to be visually compatible with the Medical Center and consistent with local architecture.
Surgical Suite Replacement Facility: Opened Spring 1997. The newly designed surgical suite encompasses the entire footprint of the 1990 expansion. The project included eight operating rooms, a cystopic room and a generous amount of support area including storage, sub-sterile supply rooms and a large central nursing station. The plan emphasizes flexibility by placing holding and recovery areas adjacent to one another. The operating rooms themselves are very generous in size, allowing for the equipment needed to meet MTMC’s enhanced surgical capabilities. The project cost was $8.5 million.
Bell Street Center
After receiving a CON for an Ambulatory Surgery Center and Outpatient Diagnostic Center, construction began on a multi-level medical office complex directly across from the Medical Center on Bell Street. The entire project cost approximately $10 million. Both the ACS and Outpatient Diagnostic Imaging Center are located on the first floor with leased physician offices on the second and third floors. The entire building consists of 79,800 gross square feet and includes an atrium and adjacent conference room. The ASC, opened in 1998, is a joint venture between MTMC and Health Horizons (now United Surgical partners International) with physician investors and contains 3 operating suites with a fourth scheduled to open in 2002. Construction then began on the relocation of the Cancer Center and the expanding Radiation Therapy Services into an area of 12,500 square feet which included a major upgrade in technology. The Newly expanded unit opened in 1999. A second liner accelerator was installed in 2002 as the services continue to grow in the community.
IN 1999, MTMC opened an Outpatient Diagnostic Center in Smyrna by leasing space in a medical office complex. In 2001, physical therapy services were also added.
In 1999-2000, 14,000 square feet, where the old surgical services area was located, was renovated to expand Cardiology Services and Endoscopy Services; and to provide space for a Pain Center. Nuclear Cardiology was also established in this space. As part of the expansion, a second Cardiac Catherization room was built for future expansion. The facility opened in August 2000 and the Pain Center opened in December 2000.
As the number of visits to the Emergency Department continued to increase to more than 50,000 visits per year, the Emergency Department could not accommodate the patient load. After many months of planning, work began on the construction of a new Emergency Department which includes 34 treatment spaces, new waiting areas and a fast track for minor emergencies. Construction was completed in August 2002 at an estimated cost of $6 million.
Outpatient Diagnostic Centers
In December 2001, MTMC entered into a joint venture with the Murfreesboro Radiology Group to form an LLC named “Middle Tennessee Imaging.” The facility is located in Smyrna adjacent to the Outpatient Diagnostic Center and includes a full spectrum of diagnostic equipment including the Hitachi Aris II Open Magnet. This facility opened in February 2002.
In July 2004, MTMC entered into another joint venture with Murfreesboro Radiology Group and Vanderbilt Imaging Services to establish a freestanding diagnostic center in Murfreesboro.
MTMC Replacement Facility Project
MTMC was located in its original structure established in 1927. The main Medical Center campus was only 8 acres with adjacent buildings and land totaling less than 20 acres to accommodate 60,000 ER visits, nearly 12,000 inpatient admissions, and 85,000 outpatient visits each year. It is now land-locked precluding any significant expansion capability. Because of proximity to historic districts and flight paths, vertical expansion is extremely limited. In addition to these issues, access to the location is difficult as the campus is now in the midst of primarily residential and historic areas and there are no thoroughfares leading to the campus.
Rutherford County presented an attractive location for a new Ascension Health facility. One of the fastest growing counties in the Southeast, Rutherford is expected to grow by more than 136,000 residents by 2025.
In 2002, MTMC leadership was given approval by Ascension Health to purchase 68.5 acres, at $80,000 per acre, of undeveloped property adjacent to Interstate 24 in Murfreesboro. With the addition of 2.28 acres after opening the facility, MTMC now sits on 70 acres. MTMC’s purchase of this property prompted a tremendous increase in retail and commercial development near the area and the creation of the Gateway Project, a planned business and industrial complex. MTMC leadership applied to the local Christy Houston Foundation for funds to purchase the land and was given a $3 million grant toward the $5.48 million cost for the parcel. (The Christy Houston Foundation was created with the $40 million investment by Saint Thomas Hospital and Baptist Hospital in 1987 to purchase MTMC.)
Ascension Health’s approval for the land purchase was based on the need established due to:
1) the rapid growth of MTMC’s primary service area, Rutherford County, Tennessee
2) the limitations presented by the location and age of the existing buildings and campus, particularly access to the campus
3) the pending new competing hospital planned by HCA. StoneCrest Medical Center, a 75 bed patients facility, opened it’s doors in November of 2003.
MTMC was given approval form the State’s Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA) to build a new Medical Campus that will replace the existing MTMC facility in on October 25, 2006. The hospital is planned for 286-beds with shelled space for additional beds in anticipation of the county’s continued growth. In the nearly 600,000 square feet of new construction, there are specific projections for 32 intensive care beds and 30 obstetrical beds. MTMC began working with Gresham, Smith and Partners to assure that the design of the new hospital will allow for maximum efficiency and flexibility for future growth. Turner Universal is the construction manager.
MTMC partnered with Bremner Healthcare to assist with the development of the first on-campus medical office building. The DePaul Medical Office building celebrated is opening on March 31, 2008. This is a four-story building that is approximately 120,000 square feet and includes Middle Tennessee Ambulatory Surgery Center, which was previously located at the MTMC Bell Street Building-which is connected to MTMC’s current facility. This is the largest medical office building in Murfreesboro.
The hospital portion of the new MTMC campus broke ground on April 16, 2008. More than 400 people attended the ceremony which included speeches by Mayors Tommy Bragg and Ernest Burgess, and a $1 million check presented by the Christy-Houston Foundation that is part of the $10 million donation towards the new 21,000 square-foot Emergency Department. Steel began going up in May of 2008 and the topping out ceremony was held in September of 2008 with the highest beam being placed at 128 feet. The $267 Million hospital offers 286 all-private patient rooms, with a traditional, yet modern design. There are several unique elements such as a healing garden, designed for relaxation and meditation, a large chapel and a two-story atrium. Each of these areas is designed to facilitate a healing and spiritual environment. MTMC’s goal was to build a state-of-the-art facility that will incorporate many of the latest patient-focused design elements and will serve the need of the community for many more years to come.
New MTMC - 10.2.10
On October 2, 2010 the new facility opened its doors to the community. The first patient was moved at 5 a.m. from the 400 North Highland campus to the New MTMC. 137 patients were safely and successfully moved by noon to the new facility. Rutherford County EMS moved the patients. The 400 North Highland campus was announced officially closed at 11:24 a.m.
MTMC Bariatric Center
MTMC held the grand opening of the MTMC Bariatric Center in January of 2007. The Bariatric Program at MTMC is one of the most comprehensive weight loss surgery programs in the country, providing patients with two proven surgical options that can correct metabolic deficiencies.
Relocating MTMC's Bariatric program to a freestanding center gives MTMC the ability to meet and exceed patient's expectations. Patients are able to see the surgeon, the nurse coordinator, the insurance specialist and the dietitian, all in one location. The convenience of having the bariatric team under one roof means better care, right here.
Saint Thomas Heart at MTMC
In February of 2008, MTMC opened Saint Thomas Heart at MTMC. Dr. G. Britton Mioton, an invasive cardiologist, formed the first practice in Murfreesboro that operates under the umbrella of Saint Thomas Heart. In December of 2008, Dr. Chester Falterman, joined Dr. Mioton to be the second invasive cardiologists at the Murfreesboro office of Saint Thomas Heart. The Saint Thomas Heart offices and diagnostic center are located in the Bell Street Center.
Center for Breast Health at MTMC
On September 23, 2008 MTMC celebrated the grand opening of the new Center for Breast Health.
The new center is equipped with two full field digital mammography units and offers nurse navigation. Other services that are offered at the Center for Breast Health are stereotactic breast biopsies, breast ultrasound, and bone densitometry. Screenings and a full range of education and support services will also be offered.
The center is located in the Bell Street Building where the ambulatory surgery center was preciously located.
da Vinci Surgical System
In September of 2008, MTMC received a $1.75 million grant from the Christy-Houston Foundation for the implementation of a robotic surgery program which includes the purchase of a da Vinci Surgical System.
The da Vinci Surgical System provides minimally invasive surgical instrumentation beyond the capabilities of the human hand. The da Vinci has been used in procedures world-wide and is most used in urologic, cardiac, bariatric, colorectal and gynecologic surgeries. The most common use of da Vinci is in prostatectomy surgery which is total removal of the prostate. Dr. Showalter and Dr. Jackson, Urologists, are currently the two physicians that are trained to perform prostatectomies by using the da Vinci.
The da Vinci will allow patients to stay in Murfreesboro for leading edge technology and procedures that are less painful with smaller incisions and shorter hospital stays. The availability of this technology and equipment will also assist in physician recruitment.Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital is a member of Saint Thomas Health and Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system.