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Saint Thomas Health To Create Joint Replacement Institute

Saint Thomas Health Receives Approval from the State for $25 Million Project to Develop Center of Excellence

Earlier this year, Saint Thomas Health filed a certificate of need with the State of Tennessee to expand and renovate space dedicated to orthopedic services at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital.  This project is part of a larger effort to develop the Saint Thomas Joint Replacement Institute to coordinate and expand joint replacement services across Saint Thomas Health. The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency today approved the request.

With the aging of the population, total joint replacement surgeries in Middle Tennessee have increased by 23 percent during the last five years, and projections indicate that they will continue to increase another 10 percent over the next five years.

“To meet this need, our $25 million investment at the Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital will further our reputation as  the premier joint replacement program in Middle Tennessee,” Mike Schatzlein, M.D., President and CEO of Saint Thomas Health.

The project at Saint Thomas Midtown includes renovating 94,000 square feet of space on that campus that will result in eight dedicated operating rooms that will be larger and appropriately equipped for the requirements of advanced total joint replacement procedures.

“This project comes as the result of ongoing dialogue between Saint Thomas Health and its physicians to identify collaborative efforts to enhance the quality of clinical services to our patients,” said Bernie Sherry, CEO of the Saint Thomas Midtown and West Hospital campuses.

 Saint Thomas Health has been working with a number of joint replacement and orthopedic providers, notably Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance (TOA) and Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Care in developing the Institute model for an enhanced joint replacement experience.  TOA is the region’s largest orthopedic practice with more than 50 surgeons across Middle Tennessee and presence on the three major campuses of Saint Thomas Health.

“Our practice wholeheartedly supports this project because it will transform the way joint replacement services are delivered and dramatically enhance both patient and physician experience,” William Kurtz, M.D. board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance.

“Our goal is to create a distinctive experience for the patients we serve,” said Dr. Kurtz. “One way we will do that is by creating a ‘single floor experience.’ ”

Patients undergoing joint replacement surgery will receive all acute care services in one location, without the stress or inconvenience of moving to other areas of the hospital during their hospital stay.

The single floor set-up will also improve the quality of clinical care by enhancing staff and physician collaboration and care coordination, as the clinicians on the floor will be singularly focused and trained on joint replacement care.

Saint Thomas Health’s joint replacement program is the already the largest in the region and is consistently ranked among the best in the nation. In fact, the orthopedic program of Saint Thomas Health is ranked number one in Tennessee by Carechex for quality, experience and outcomes.

“Through this Joint Institute, we will maintain our leadership position in joint replacement, said Dr. Schatzlein.

Construction on the Midtown project is expected to begin late this summer and take approximately a year and a half to complete.

About Saint Thomas Health

Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee’s faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united under the common mission of one healing community. With 6,500 associates, Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes – Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro and Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville as well as four hospitals in the Capella-Saint Thomas Health System.  These are complemented by a comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit


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