Tennessee Heart Cookeville broke ground Monday on an expansion project that will double its capacity.
Cardiologist Stacy Brewington said the Tennessee Heart facility is currently at capacity. Brewington said the project will enhance patient services and help Cookeville Regional keep pace with larger medical centers around the country.
“It seemed like the right time to move forward and we were able to get the project off the ground,” Brewington said. “Looking forward to expanding our footprint there around the medical center to turn open space into usable office space so that we can serve the community better.”
Brewington said this space will allow all of the cardiology resources to be housed in the same location. Brewington said contractors expect the project to take 18 months.
“What we’ll be able to do is move some physicians who are off-site across campus back into a true heart center, so the surgeons, the cardiologist, the imaging, and the rehab will all be contained in one space,” Brewington said.
Brewington said the facility has 15 cardiologists and five nurse practitioners which should be plenty for the next several years, but as Cookeville grows, the healthcare system has to grow with it.
Brewington said he worked as an EMT in college and it was not uncommon to see five or six ambulances lined up to transfer heart patients to Nashville. Brewington said the community has made a commitment to growing the cardiology program locally, and this is the continuation of that.
“Adding our new facility will help us to see patients faster and in a more timely manner and more conveniently by having all of the cardiac resources housed in one facility,” Brewington said.
Brewington said that like all construction projects, this has been a long process. Brewington said concrete discussions about this expansion began five years ago, but land and finance acquisition has been going on for some 15 years with this final product in mind.