Nashville: Health Care

Nashville boasts more than 350 health care companies operating in the city, 21 of which are headquartered in the city. More than 2,700 doctors work in Nashville's 30 hospitals, medical centers, and specialty centers. Nashville is home to HCA Inc., which manages 191 hospitals and 82 outpatient surgery centers throughout the U.S.—including Nashville's Centennial, Skyline, and Southern Hills medical centers—as well as in England and Switzerland. Centennial Medical Center is recognized for its work in cardiology, stroke, orthopaedics, and breast cancer management. Its campus includes The Women's Hospital at Centennial, and the Parthenon Pavilion, a full-service mental health center. Skyline Medical Center, a 59-acre campus overlooking downtown Nashville, opened in September 2000. It is notable for its treatment of stroke, back and neck surgery, and spinal fusion. Southern Hills Medical Center is a smaller, community hospital with a full range of heart, oncology, orthopaedic, and neurology services. Baptist Hospital is the Nashville region's largest not-for-profit medical center, with 685 beds. It offers a number of specialty units, including the Mandrell Heart Center, Institute for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Sports Medicine Center. St. Thomas Hospital, with 515 staffed beds, was founded by the Daughters of Charity and is nationally recognized for its heart and cancer units, while Meharry Medical College, one of the country's most prestigious predominantly African American colleges, has been a leading producer of African American physicians and dentists since its founding in 1876. Two Veterans Administration medical centers exist within the city.

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which adjoins the university's campus near downtown Nashville, is one of the most noted research, training, and health care facilities in the country. The main hospital boasts 658 beds, ultra-modern surgical units, a labor and delivery area designed around the birthing room concept, a comprehensive burn center, and a coronary care wing. Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, formerly housed within the University Medical Center, moved to a new eight-floor facility in 2004. Patients and their families were involved in planning the new hospital, which took five years to build at a cost of $172 million. The hospital offers comprehensive pediatric care, boasting 19 specialty services. For adults and children who need immediate medical attention because of accident or sudden illness, Vanderbilt University also operates a helicopter ambulance service called "Life Flight," which quickly moves patients within a 130-mile radius of the city to the hospital.