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Letter: New day for healthcare

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To the Editor:
It's a new day for healthcare in Cannon County.

As President and CEO of Saint Thomas Health, I am excited to welcome Stones River Hospital - now Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital - into the Saint Thomas Health family. As you know, Saint Thomas has been involved in the Woodbury community and Stones River, in partnership with Capella Healthcare, for several years. Now we're excited to add the hospital fully into our system of care. Joining Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital will be three other area hospitals: Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital in Smithville, Saint Thomas River Park Hospital in McMinnville and Saint Thomas Highlands Hospital in Sparta.

We made the decision to fully invest in these four communities, doubling the number of hospitals within the Saint Thomas Health system, so that people in our state will have better access to high-quality, faith-based care than ever before. Increasing access is the best way to both support our local hospitals and serve our patients, and community hospitals such as these help Tennesseans access care close to home, which is where most people prefer to seek treatment.

That being said, we believe that healthcare is much more than just as-needed emergency room trips and medical procedures. We believe today's healthcare requires a holistic and coordinated approach making communities healthier. It requires an integrated system of care that provides real-time information and support to providers and seamless care to patients -- which is exactly what Saint Thomas Health strives to provide.

We also understand that it is not the name on the building that defines a hospital. Instead, it is the people who work and volunteer there, and the quality of care they provide, which creates a trusted, beloved healthcare provider. I have spent the past few weeks introducing myself and my colleagues to the associates and leaders at our newest facilities and am so encouraged by the welcoming, open-arms reception we have been given.

It's obvious Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital is an exceptional place, in an exceptional community, and we look forward to working with their employees, physicians, nurses and community members to ensure their health needs are met today and in the future.

Karen Springer
President & CEO
Saint Thomas Health

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