By Clinton Gill
A ribbon cutting ceremony and open house was held at the long-awaited Cumberland Medical Center Medical Arts Building on Sunday, Jan. 12, though it will not officially open for business until a Letter of Occupancy is received from the state, which is expected to happen some time this week.
The 25,000-square-foot facility offers a primary care clinic, specialty clinic, physical therapy, digital mammography and lab services. The facility offers great convenience for residents and visitors of Fairfield Glade. Some of the tests they will be able to conduct include urinalysis, influenza A & B, occult blood, group A strep screen, CMP and lipid profile, among others. Additionally, more than half of the facility has been reserved for future expansion, depending on the needs of the community.
"We do not know what demand is at this point in time, and we don't know what are needs are at this point in time." said Ed Anderson, CEO of CMC. As such, office space will be available for physicians to lease as those needs arise.
The Medical Arts building is adjacent to the Wellness Complex at Fairfield Glade, next to the Fairfield Glade Community and Conference Center. The facility took one year of actual construction time to build at a cost of $4 million, and currently has about 16-20 staff members, including Tamara Collins, M.D. (internal medicine) and Hope Stone, CNP (Family Nurse Practitioner).
"We worked very closely with the Fairfield Glade community and built a facility tailored to their needs," said Ron Hellmund, director of engineering for CMC.
CMC is expected to close a merger agreement with Covenant Health at the end of the month. The merger will increase CMC's ability to negotiate with suppliers and insurance companies, and will help provide access to expertise that is currently unavailable in the community.
"We feel its in the best interest of everyone, for the community, for the hospital and all that's involved to join with Covenant," said Anderson. "That will be coming about as soon as we get approval from the Attorney General and the State of Tennessee. We hope that will be on or about Feb. 1."
There are currently eight hospitals in the Covenant system, though there are soon to be 10 with the addition of the CMC facility and another facility in Claiborne County.
"We are a system of community hospitals, and that's why we've been able to grow," said Tony Spezia, CEO of Covenant Health. "When we go to places like Morristown or Roane County, they're all proud of their communities. They want strong services in their communities. They want physicians recruited to their communities and services provided in a high quality way locally. That's what we stand for. We're a system with $2 million in assets and 10,000 employees. Those resources are going to be made available to this community."
The CMC Medical Arts building is at 130 Stonehenge Drive in Fairfield Glade. For more information visit www. cmchealthcare.org. Contact Tamara Collins, M.D. or Hope Stone, CNP at 787-1886, CMC at FFG at 707-8420.