NASHVILLE, TN — Nashville General Hospital (NGH) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Joseph Webb and the Metro Hospital Authority Board considered the future of the city’s public hospital and a new, modern facility after 30 years of leasing at the current location. A recent county-wide poll shows that more than 73% support NGH’s relocation proposal for a new hospital.
During Phase One, a feasibility study was conducted to analyze the benefits and limitations of the existing NGH facilities on Meharry Medical College’s campus. Chair of the Finance Committee, Pastor Frank Stevenson, clarified in a discussion that we “owe it to the citizens of this city to have a hospital that is equipped for today and the future.”
During a previous board meeting the board voted unanimously to explore the opportunity of building a new state-of-the-art facility. “We have two commitments. The first commitment is to do what is best in the interest of the citizens of this city. Secondly, to make sure this hospital stays in the heart of this community,” Stevenson added.
132 Years of Quality Healthcare
For 132 years, Nashville General Hospital has served the community well. Davidson County Councilwoman Delishia Porterfield supports NGH calling it “The People’s Hospital” speaking professionally and personally based on the care she received as an NGH patient.
The mission remains steadfast to improve the health and wellness of Nashville by providing equitable access to coordinated, patient-centered care, supporting tomorrow’s caregivers, and translating science into clinical practice.
Data Supports the Need for a New Facility
“We have talked to the engineers and architects about the resource needs to create a proforma for the new hospital,” Dr. Webb shared. “A recent polling survey has shown that there’s overwhelming support for a new state-of-the-art public hospital. Meharry Medical College deserves a state-of-the-art facility to train their students.”
The assignment under the Phase One study was to “analyze the benefits and limitations of the existing NGH facilities at Meharry Medical College, as well as NGH’s economic impact, in order to determine the actual and projected growth needs, and to assess the suitability of the potential relocation site in Metro Center, located at 720 Mainstream Drive,” said Dr. Dick Darr, owner of Capital Project Solutions.
The study concluded that a new Nashville General Hospital makes economic sense and improves the current and future healthcare of the community.
• The current facility is undersized; offering no room to expand the services, and outdated; a partial renovation was done in 1996.
• The buildings HVAC, electrical, and windows, are original from 1972, and are thus inefficient.
• The current facility has multiple systems at end-of-life burdening taxpayers including infrastructure, utilities, and equipment.
Ultimately the study validated that the current location is too costly to renovate and would not meet hospital or community needs due to limitations of the size of the property.
The benefits of a new NGH facility include the opportunity to provide a better healthcare environment and an economic opportunity through supplemental revenue streams (i.e. parking, office space), more jobs, and space for affordable housing units (in future phases).
It would also create a better learning experience and reduce taxpayer burden as incremental revenues and decreased utility costs could lead to decreased costs to taxpayers.
The new NGH facility can be a “greater asset to the Nashville community and an opportunity for Meharry Medical College to repurpose their space to suit their own growing needs,” Dr. Webb said.
Dr. Webb also stated “the discussion will move forward over the next 6 months and yield a new facility in late 2026.”
No additional Metro taxpayer funds or municipal bonds are needed for NGH to build and equip the new facility.
Funding for a New Public Hospital
For the past 30 years, NGH has paid the lease payments from their operating budget, although the payments are guaranteed by the Metro Nashville City government. NGH generates more than $250 million in revenue – more than enough to support a mortgage payment for a new facility from its operating budget.
“Unlike the current situation,” Dr. Webb noted, “After 30 years, the hospital will be owned by the city of Nashville.”
A relocated NGH will be more efficient and have lower operating costs. Moreover, a new facility creates jobs and builds a pipeline of healthcare providers to directly address the local, regional, and national shortage. In addition, NGH will also be a state-of-the-art teaching hospital for Meharry Medical College to help attract and retain the best and brightest medical students and residents.
Nashville General Hospital’s relocation initiative is good for Metro taxpayers, Metro residents, Metro employees, and Meharry Medical College.