Bringing a New Orthopedic Center to Chattanooga

Center for Orthopedic Surgery Fulfills Significant Community Need

Every patient about to go to under the knife appreciates the expression “surgical precision.” Recently, the patient was Erlanger Hospital’s sixth floor, and the doctors had diagnosed the facility as missing a critical component— a dedicated orthopedic services area.

For this particular operation, our doctors temporarily replaced their precision instruments with something a little more blunt: sledgehammers. Erlanger President and CEO Kevin M. Spiegel, FACHE, began the procedure, and his team assisted him in tearing down a wall, beginning construction of Erlanger’s new Center for Orthopedic Surgery.

Mr. Spiegel knew how long the assembled doctors had been waiting for this day. “Our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists were so anxious to see this construction begin, they wanted to personally kick off this first phase of Erlanger’s expansion efforts by making their own mark on the re-build.”

One of those happiest about the construction is Dr. Mark Freeman, who had urged creation of such a center for five years. He followed his eight sledgehammer blows by saying, “I’ve been waiting to do that a long time…it’s a great day for me and my colleagues, but most importantly for Erlanger and its patients in the region.”

Part of a larger $71 million expansion project, the $9.5-million Center will include four operating rooms, twelve beds, pre-op and post-op areas, a waiting room and more.

“You can have the best car in the world, or the best driver in the world, but you need both to be successful. We’ve had the best drivers for a long time, and now we’ll have the best car, too,” said Freeman

Once Erlanger has both, we’ll be in a better position to serve the community’s and region’s orthopedic needs. Publications have recognized Chattanooga as a premier city for outdoor activities, and with so many native and visiting athletes, explorers and adventurers of all ages, there is a great need for the new, comprehensive facility.

Mr. Spiegel acknowledged that need by saying, “This marks a new phase of Erlanger’s future that will meet the hospital’s infrastructure needs with world-class facilities unparalleled in the region, and will help our patients achieve their goals to return to normal, more active states.”

Dr. Bill Moore Smith goes on to explain just how advanced and comprehensive this new Orthopedic Center will be, to meet the area’s increasing demand.

The Erlanger Center for Orthopedic Surgery will open in 2015.