The Medical Center at Franklin unveiled its completed $4 million surgery expansion project to the public Monday.
“It was just 16 months ago that we gathered at the Franklin Medical Pavilion to celebrate the ribbon-cutting to get that project in motion,” said Clara Sumner, CEO of The Medical Center at Franklin. “Our inpatient and outpatient surgeries are growing here in Franklin.”
The 9,700-square-foot renovation and new construction includes two operating suites, an endoscopy suite, a six-bed recovery unit and other surgical support services. With the new addition, surgeons have more room to do more complicated surgeries.
“(The surgery staff) worked in one room for a long time,” Sumner said. “Now (the types of surgery) are unlimited to what the surgeon wants to do.”
The hospital has two general surgeons: Dr. John Korba of Bluegrass Surgical Associates in Bowling Green, who practices in Franklin as part of The Medical Center at Franklin’s Physician Specialty Clinics, and Dr. William Daniel, who opened a practice in the Franklin Medical Pavilion earlier this year. The hospital has 135 full-time and part-time employees, including several in surgery and acute care who have been added as the volume of patients has expanded. Other specialties at the Physician Specialty Clinics, including orthopedic surgery, urology and podiatry, will also be able to use the new surgical area.
“We’ll add staff as the number of procedures grows,” Sumner said.
The former Franklin-Simpson Memorial Hospital was established in 1969 and acquired by Commonwealth Health Corp. in April 2000. Franklin Mayor Ronnie Clark was a member of the original hospital board and remembers when the hospital was having financial struggles. He said he is grateful the hospital is part of the community.
“I was not part of the decision to sell (the hospital to CHC). It turned out to be real good for Franklin,” he said. It’s a place “the community can rely on when we need medical attention. It attracts industry. It has a staff of outstanding physicians.”
Having a good hospital is like having a good school system, Clark said.
“It’s vital,” he said. “We wouldn’t have a foundation on which to grow.”
Amy Ellis, immediate past president of the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, agreed that The Medical Center is an essential part of the city.
“Every time it expands, it makes it a safer place for citizens,” she said. “We’re thankful to the hospital and everything they’ve done for the community.”
Since procuring The Medical Center at Franklin, CHC has invested more than $21 million in improvements, including continuous physician coverage in the emergency department, expansion of its diagnostic imaging services, the construction of two medical office buildings and a new 25-bed patient wing and the new surgery expansion project. Being able to take better care of patients makes it all worthwhile, Sumner said.
“Our mission is simple - to care for people and the quality of life of people we serve,” she said.