Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Granted Approval To Add Cardiac Surgery


The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA) granted Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford approval of its Certificate of Need (CON) application to add adult open heart surgery to its well-established cardiac program.

The application was heavily supported by the local community as well as by civic and business organizations, including physician groups, MTSU, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Maury Regional Medical Center, Unity Medical Center and local and state government officials.

“Now that we have approval to bring open heart surgery to Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford, we will fill a significant gap of advanced heart care that exists between Nashville and Chattanooga,” said Evelio Rodriguez, M.D., chief of cardiac surgery, Ascension Saint Thomas Heart. “We have a strong history of bringing advanced heart care to the communities we serve and look forward to our next steps.”

“We are grateful to the members of the HSDA for their approval of our application,” said Gordon Ferguson, president and CEO, Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford. “We look forward to starting the physician recruitment phase of this program later this year to bring this much needed program to our service area as soon as all components are in place.”

Ascension Saint Thomas will invest more than $5.6 million in its Rutherford hospital to establish the open heart surgery program. According to Dr. Rodriguez, existing Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West cardiac surgery clinical pathways and protocols will be used to develop a high-quality program at Rutherford.

“This is a great day for our Ministry,” said Tim Adams, president and CEO, Ascension Saint Thomas and Ministry Market Executive, Ascension Tennessee. “We are committed to providing outstanding care to our patients and identifying services that our community needs. The open heart surgery program at Rutherford will be established, operated and maintained at the same levels of quality as shown at our nationally recognized heart program at Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital West in Nashville.”

Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford is currently accredited with the Joint Commission and will continue to comply with the standards of the American College of Cardiology, the American Hospital Association and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

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