Sumner Regional to open $5 million freestanding ER in Gallatin

Sumner Regional Medical Center plans to open its new $5 million freestanding emergency room at Sumner Station in Gallatin next month.

The 10,000-square-foot ER, located at 225 Big Station Camp Blvd. near State Route 386, will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week with five rooms, a lab, pharmacy and imaging services beginning March 20.

"We have seen a very steady growth in emergency room visits over time and our ability to expand our existing ER just does not exist," Sumner Regional CEO Susan Peach said. "A significant portion of our visits are coming from that segment of the community (near Station Camp)... so in order to serve that population we thought this would be perfect."

The Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency approved the freestanding ER in November 2015. Once open, the new facility and its 45-member staff will be able to provide all of the same medical services to patients that are also available at the hospital.

Last year, nearly 40,000 patients were treated at Sumner Regional's 24-bed emergency room located 6.9 miles from Sumner Station. The area's nearest competing hospital is TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center.

"Time is important when you're in a crisis," Peach said. "For children who have an injury, for a heart incident, if you're having gripping chest pain or dad just fell off a ladder... you want something fast, accessible and close. That's why this location and the expansion there is important to us."

Nearly $40 million has been invested by the hospital into Sumner Station since the 103,000-square-foot facility was purchased in late 2013. Most recently, the $18-million state-of-the-art Carpenter Cancer Center opened in March 2016.

"Having a facility with the quality of Sumner Regional is meaningful in so many ways," Mayor Paige Brown said. "People can get quality treatment right at home and that makes a difference whether you're just seeking routine medical care or you have an issue that you have to address.

"This (ER) is going to serve a section of the population in a way that will save lives."

Sumner Regional officials are currently evaluating how to best utilize the remaining 10,000 square feet of unused space at Sumner Station, according to Peach. As for the hospital, an expansion to increase the Gallatin facility's 155-bed capacity is currently being explored.

"It's important that the community realizes that this is personal for me," Peach said about Sumner Regional's recent investments. "This is my hospital and my family comes here, so the quality of care that we provide is a personal mission for me. Because when it's personal that means you're going to pay a lot of attention to it."

Reach Josh Cross at (615) 452-4940 and on Twitter @joshcross