Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System (MHHS), a member of Covenant Health, remains committed to investing in local healthcare services and providing the best care to all of its patients. As a not-for-profit hospital, MHHS reinvests any excess margin back into its facilities, programs, education and support services, unlike for-profit systems where excess revenues are distributed to shareholders and owners.
Through this structure, the hospital continues to grow with the community by recruiting new physicians to the area, updating facilities and investing in new programs to benefit patients and staff alike. Recent growth includes the opening of two new outpatient clinics with Morristown Family Medicine and Women’s Healthcare of Morristown and launching new programs such as neonatal coverage for infants through telemedicine, Transitions of Care Medication delivery, and upcoming programs such as a new Wound Care Center, a 3rd inaugural class of Lincoln Memorial University Medical Students, a simulation laboratory for advanced training, and accreditation as a Primary Stroke Center.
Women’s Healthcare of Morristown provides care for women in all stages of life, including gynecology, pregnancy, hormonal and menopause management, and gynecological surgery. The practice is led by Kim Brooks, MD, FACOG, Bill Black, MD and women’s health nurse practitioner Stacey Kesterson, MSN, WHNP.
To compliment the services available at Women’s Healthcare of Morristown, the Women’s Center at the hospital provides comprehensive, family-centered care with labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum suites. Thanks to a new, innovative relationship with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the hospital is able to continue to provide this service for the community. This relationship ensures neonatal support is provided 24/7 for any newborn in need. This is accomplished through a combination of telemedicine, onsite neonatal staff and dedicated transport to the region’s only Level III NICU when needed. Also, for expecting mothers, childbirth and breastfeeding classes are now offered regularly.
Our region has one of the lowest percentages of primary care physicians per capita in the country. To begin addressing this issue in our area, Morristown Family Medicine was established in conjunction with Lincoln Memorial University’s DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). This clinic provides primary care services for the whole family and an opportunity for medical students to further their education. The practice is staffed by Danielle Darter, MD and Mary Serbin, FNP-BC. Both Morristown Family Medicine and Women’s Healthcare of Morristown opened in February.
MHHS furthers its commitment to the LMU-DCOM partnership by welcoming the third inaugural class of medical students. Students are able to receive didactic and hands-on training and explore their specialty areas of interest through the program. Students from the program’s first class are preparing for graduation this year and have been accepted to multiple prestigious residency programs throughout the United States, including Michigan State University, Vanderbilt, University of Louisville School of Medicine, and the University of Tennessee. This program is part of our commitment to health education and also serves as a physician recruitment strategy.
Medical students and hospital staff are also beginning life-saving education in the newly implemented simulation laboratory. The focal piece of this education features SimMan, a highly advanced patient simulator that breathes, sweats, talks, has a pulse and directly reacts to treatment methods. SimMan gives immediate feedback on effectiveness and helps best prepare our team for real life situations. The simulation lab helps physicians, nurses, emergency responders, technicians, and countless others train to save lives in a semi-live environment and furthers our abilities as a health system to provide the highest quality care to our patients and community. The new laboratory was officially named the George O. Haggard, Jr. Simulation Education Laboratory at last year’s Morristown Hamblen Hospital Foundation Classy Country Gala.
MHHS also aims to educate the community to recognize health issues and understand how to take action. Its recent BE FAST campaign has helped people identify symptoms of stroke and how to react. When someone is having a stroke, receiving the right care, right away can make all the difference in survival and quality of life. Covenant Health is home to East Tennessee’s only Stroke Hospital Network, which means no matter where you live, life-saving treatment is always nearby. In addition, the hospital is expecting to receive its accreditation from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Receiving Center, the only hospital with this designation in our area.
In addition to stroke readiness, we continue to focus on growing services in the hospital’s full service cancer center. The Morristown Regional Cancer Center is excited to welcome Aaron Flanders, MD, Medical Oncologist. Dr. Flanders completed his Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC, and will be joining MHHS’ multi-disciplinary team in July. The Cancer Center received national accreditation by the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer last year, and offers the latest technology available in the fight against cancer.
For patients needing surgery, the healing of associated wounds are an important factor in recovery. Recognizing the need for this service, construction is well underway for the area’s only Wound Care Center. The Wound Care Center at MHHS will be managed by Restorix Health, who provides specialized treatment for chronic or non-healing wounds, which are defined as sores or wounds that have not significantly improved from conventional treatments. Associated with inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins and immobility, non-healing wounds lead to lower quality of life and may lead to amputations. When wounds persist, a specialized approach is required for healing.
The hospital has also partnered with College Park Pharmacy on a Transitions of Care Medication program designed to ease patients’ transition home after a hospital stay, avoiding readmissions and improving recovery. This program enables pharmacy staff to hand deliver specifically prescribed medications to hospital patients’ bedside before they are discharged. This bedside delivery provides an opportunity for pharmacy staff to answer patients’ questions and ensure they understand how to take their medications correctly. The program also includes calls after discharge to ensure medication compliance.
To ensure a pleasant stay, the hospital has also recently completed upgrades to several of its units. New flooring, lighting, ceilings, paint and art has been installed in its Senior Behavioral Health Unit, Surgery Waiting Area and similar renovations are underway in patient rooms and bathrooms on the third and fourth floor medical/surgical units. In addition, the hospital recently opened a fully renovated dining area, which features stations for sandwiches, pizza, grill food, a salad bar and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine to allow for complete meal customization.
As a member of Covenant Health, MHHS and the local community have benefited from more than $88 million in capital invested in local facilities since the partnership began in 2010. Gordon Lintz, president and chief administrative officer stated, “I am proud of the investments Covenant Health has made in Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare System which enable us to better serve our community. The investments come in the form of capital improvements as well as program development that align with evidence based approaches to patient care. The Covenant Health philosophy is to support our hospitals and clinics by providing the best possible patient care locally. As a result of these efforts, the hospital was recently named a ‘Grade A’ facility by the Leapfrog Group for clinical quality and outcomes.”