Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center

Officials gathered Tuesday to break ground on Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Williamson Medical Center, expected to be open in January 2015.

Discussion first began on adding children’s services to the hospital 10 years ago, and WMC announced its partnership with Vanderbilt in 2011.

“This time is different. Now is the right time to begin providing child healthcare,” WMC CEO Don Webb said.

In addition to renovations and expansion of the existing building, a three-story tower will be built on the west side and will include a children’s unit and emergency room.

Officials gather for Tuesday’s groundbreaking
COO Julie Miller explained the tower’s layout.

The pediatric unit will be on the third floor with an ER on the first floor, she said, and the children’s hospital will have a separate entrance and waiting room from the adult ER.

“We have focused on support services every children’s hospital should have. We will have a café for parents, so they will not have to leave that unit. There is a resource library, so family members can research with computers and resource books,” Miller said.

There will also be a conference room for physicians to speak with parents and guardians and an activity center for able children to play.

Wright Pinson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, said Vanderbilt looks forward to helping children and families in the community.

“The Vanderbilt children’s hospital in Nashville sees about 1,400 patients a day. This is the first time we’ve made a commitment to move our services into a facility like this. We have every intention to make sure we bring the same level of high-quality services here,” Pinson said.

Approximately 32 pediatric physicians are on staff at Williamson Medical Center now, and an estimated six or seven physicians contracted through Vanderbilt will be added.

Artist’s rendering of the atrium view of the WMC expansion
Recruitment and credentialing will start in January of next year.

Webb said Williamson Medical Center’s relationship with Vanderbilt has always been a stable one.

“Our partnerships with Vanderbilt are for outpatient services in Williamson County. They’ve always been good partners, they have a large presence in Williamson County and it’s been a good relationship and non-competitive.”

Approximately $65 million will cover the project, $30 million of which will come through a 20-year, county-issued bond.

The remainder will be covered by medical center’s reserve funds and operations.

Vanderbilt will not finance any portion of the project, which Webb said he thinks is the best way to handle the project.

“I think the way we’ve modeled this project is the way to do this. We want Vanderbilt’s participation, but we want to control and own the facility. This project belongs to us,” he said.

Jessica Pace covers Williamson County, Williamson County Schools and the Town of Nolensville for BrentWord Communications. Contact her at jess@brentwoodhomepage.com or follow her on Twitter @Jess_Marie_Pace.

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