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Knoxville Tennessee’s State-of-the Art Health Care System

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May 7, 2011 - 11:37pm
Downtown Knoxville Tennessee

As the largest city in Eastern Tennessee, Knoxville offers second home and retirement home buyers a wide variety of cultural attractions and recreational activities. Although these are strong draws, one of the issues often expressed by potential buyers concerns the quality and availability of medical services. With eight major medical centers in the metropolitan Knoxville area alone, residents can be assured of their proximity to good medical care. 

The largest in the area, the University of Tennessee Medical Center is both a general hospital and a nationally recognized research facility. The only teaching hospital in the area providing continuing education for physicians, the UT Hospital offers treatment programs in cancer research, heart disease, spinal defects, vascular conditions, childbirth, and genetic birth defects. In addition, the facility has recently expanded its organ transplant center and pediatric intensive care center. 
 
The region’s only Level I trauma center, the UT Medical Center was also East Tennessee’s first dedicated Heart Hospital, as well as the area’s first Certified Primary Stroke Center. In keeping with their commitment to improving the lives of their patients through research, new technology, and updated medical treatments, UT has recently opened the University Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center offering the area’s only two Sechrist 3600H hyperbaric oxygen chambers. These chambers are more spacious and comfortable for patients than prior models, and allow for wound healing at an accelerated rate. The new Outpatient Physical Therapy Center will treat lymphedema in addition to traditional musculoskeletal conditions, while the bright new Fitness Center will stress wellness through exercise, yoga, Pilates, weight training, and a Cardio Theater. Equipped with the most innovative medical technology, UT Medical Center’s “Lifestar” helicopters provide emergency response services to the region.
 
University of Tennessee Medical Center
For those interested in volunteer opportunities, UT Medical Center offers a full range of activities, from direct contact with patient services to non-patient areas of service. Over 650,000 hours have been logged by UT Medical volunteers since the program began in 1962.  
 
One of the oldest facilities in the area, the award-winning St. Mary's Medical Facility is a faith-based hospital offering an Alzheimer’s research and treatment center, a diabetes management center, open-heart surgery unit, and laser eye care treatment. Part of the Mercy Health Partnersgroup of hospitals and clinics, St. Mary’s also offers an alcohol addiction treatment program, and adolescent behavioral treatment program. 
 
St. Mary’s Medical was recently ranked the best hospital in Tennessee for knee and hip replacement surgery by leading national independent healthcare ratings company, Health Grades. St. Mary’s also received the Joint Replacement Excellence Award for the fourth year in a row. Working closely with board-certified, fellowship trained orthopedic physicians at Knoxville Orthopedic Clinic (KOC) allows St. Mary’s to bring cutting edge orthopedic technology and the newest surgical techniques to the region. Patients benefit from enhanced procedures by having fewer post-surgical complications, and a quicker return to normal function. This team approach is one of the reasons St. Mary’s has received national recognition for their orthopedic surgery program.  
 
Mercy Medical Center West in Knoxville TennesseeMercy Medical Center West offers a full range of cardiac, cancer, state-of-the art surgical suites, ICU, and an emergency department set up to “fast track” patients to avoid lengthy wait times.   Mercy West has an extensive women’s services center, providing digital mammography and ultrasounds, bone density studies, and stereotactic biopsies. In addition to gynecologic treatment and surgery, Mercy West also offers maternity care with comfortable birthing rooms and onsite massage therapists and salon services. 
 
Mercy Riverside, formerly Baptist Hospital of East Tennessee, offers the GAP program which is especially designed for those 55 and older. Concerned with insuring the best quality of life for aging residents, the GAP program stresses prevention, wellness, maintenance of individual strengths, and minimizing risk factors. Starting with a full evaluation by a core team of physicians, nurses, and clinical social workers, an individualized wellness program is designed and implemented based upon assessment and recommendations. Mercy Riverside also features a sleep center to help in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.
 
Volunteer opportunities abound at the Mercy Health Partners facilities. A wide range of service activities are available, and volunteers are an important component of faith-based care. 
 
Perhaps one of the drawbacks to Knoxville’s prestigious health care system is that many uninsured or underinsured Tennesseans are unable to use it. Tennessee has one of the highest obesity and infant mortality rates in the country; they rank fourth in the nation for death from lung cancer. The Mercy facilities put their money where their hearts are. In 2009 they donated over forty-four million dollars in community medical care and charity services to the East Tennessee region. 
 
An innovative leader in preventative care and wellness programs through its Center for Community Health, Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is another outstanding Knoxville hospital. Located near the downtown area, Fort Sanders is a full service, acute care regional referral center recognized as a leader in stroke recovery, obstetrics, and cardiac care. As a neuro/spine Center of Excellence, Fort Sanders provides a host of diagnostic and surgical treatments for conditions of the nervous system, working closely with the affiliated Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center,a nationally recognized, eight million dollar rehabilitation center for victims of stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Therapists use a team approach offering individual treatment in speech-language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and recreational therapy. Patients are trained in self-care to insure their best chance of returning to optimal function. Recently celebrating their thirtieth year in operation, the Patricia Neal Center is a winner of the Crystal Award for Patient Satisfaction given to healthcare facilities rated “excellent” in overall care by their patients.
 
For families visiting seriously ill patients at Fort Sanders, eighteen furnished apartments are available free of charge through the Fellowship Center, an outpatient lodging facility. 
 
Thompson Cancer Center Knoxville Tennessee
Fort Sanders is also home to the Thompson Cancer Survival Center, a twenty million dollar regional facility closely affiliated with the prestigious Duke University Cancer Center.  A leader in research and cutting edge technologies, Thompson offers treatment for breast, esophageal, lung, and skin cancer. With one of the best stem cell transplant programs in the nation, Thompson’s program is the only East Tennessee stem cell program to earn accreditation through the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. 
 
Working as a team of oncology physicians, nurses, radiologists, dieticians, social workers, and clinical physicists and therapists, some of Thompson’s innovations include: comprehensive breast imaging and designation as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology; a team approach that allows patients to meet with caregivers in one visit; the only facility in the area to offer TomoTherapy, a new digital technology that allows radiation to be concentrated in a precise beam; a world-renowned laser center that uses pioneering photodynamic therapy for the treatment of Barrett’s Esophagus; positron emission tomography scan centers accredited by the American College of Radiology; clinical trials and the most advanced oncology treatment available. 
 
Thompson also offers a number of community outreach screening and treatment programs for under-insured patients in Knox and other East Tennessee counties.
 
Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville Tennessee Also affiliated with Fort Sanders is Parkwest Hospital, a full service hospital that offers Tennessee’s first lithotripter, an electronic device for crushing kidney stones. In addition to its state-of-the-art Kidney Stone Treatment Center, this acute care facility also provides treatment for heart disease and breast cancer, as well as bariatric surgery, gastroenterology, sleep disorders, urology, oncology, radiology, respiratory therapy, and women’s services. 
 
Containing one of the area’s first all-digital catheterization labs, Parkwest has been named one of the Top 100 Heart Hospitals eight out of the past ten years, the only area hospital to achieve this honor. Parkwest has also received numerous awards for patient satisfaction, clinical practice, and excellence in emergency service. The hospital is the recipient of the Studer Group’s “Firestarter” Award, in recognition of its overall quality of care ranking of 98.9%.
 
Nationally recognized for its patient education programs, East Tennessee Children's Hospital is the only Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center in East Tennessee. A private, not-for-profit hospital, Children’s offers a staff of physicians trained in twenty-seven pediatric subspecialties and serves patients with a variety of childhood illnesses and accidents, from infants to young adults. 
 
William C. Tallent Outpatient Clinic (Mountain Home VA Medical Center) is a VA clinic offering primary care, mental health, prescription, laboratory testing, radiology, and optometry services to veterans in the Knoxville area. Also included is a diabetes clinic, and prosthetic and dietary clinicians available for consultations. Staffed by highly trained providers, the Outpatient Clinic also offers referrals to other VA hospitals, including the nearby Mountain Home VA Medical Center. 
 
Knoxville has become a regional center for medical research, education, and healthcare, offering a variety of medical specialties not often found in cities of its size. In addition to its eight major medical facilities, a number of smaller health care centers and mental health facilities also serve the Knoxville area. 
 
Rarity Bay Clubhouse on Lake Tellico Eastern Tennessee
Perhaps this is why, in addition to its many cultural and recreational amenities, Knoxville and Eastern Tennessee has become a desired location among retirement, second home and vacation property buyers. Communities such as Rarity Bay, Tellico Village and Waterside at Norris Lake continue to draw on their desired location and Knoxville’s proximity to cutting edge medical care. 
 
 
 
 
For more information on quality communities and developments in Knoxville and Eastern Tennessee, send your inquiries to info@southeastdiscovery.com.

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