New M.T. Mustian Center at TMH anticipates the future of health care
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Serving Tallahassee and Beyond
As to basic services, TMH covers a 17-county area that spans the Red Hills region up through southern Georgia. But it’s not uncommon for patients to come from throughout the Southeast for various acute or specialized treatments.
“TMH is becoming, really, a referral base for southern Georgia, the Panhandle and we’re starting to get referrals in from Alabama as well. So as we continue to expand the scope of what we do, we have to be dynamic and let our facility grow with that demand and volume,” Derosier said. “If you look at the way we’ve expanded our orthopedic, neurosurgery, cardiology and reconstructive offerings here over just the past four years, it’s been pretty extraordinary how we’ve been able to expand our scope of practice here across multiple specialties.”
O’Bryant said that as you look at TMH becoming more of a quaternary, or highly specialized center, it’s not just growth that’s tied to an expansion of population. Rather, it’s also tied to expanding market as the hospital gets into higher acuity services.
“It’s not just an expansion to accommodate the growth in population and an aging population, it’s also to accommodate a growth of services and bigger markets. So that being said, we realized that we needed a new platform,” he said.
Hutchinson said the Mustian Center will become a “huge addition” to TMH, the community and the region.
“Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare is really a regional trauma center and medical center and I don’t think a lot of people realize the area from which people come to Tallahassee for medical care,” he said. “I get patients who come to TMH from Dothan, Valdosta, Pensacola and Panama City for care. It will allow TMH to have the best and most modern operating rooms in the entire region, which will ultimately lead to a higher level of care for all of our patients, both trauma and elective surgery.”
The TMH campus is larger than people realize for a seemingly land-locked facility. There is room for expansion, and one future land-use map shows a new 770-space parking lot to be built between Centerville Road and Physicians Drive.
O’Bryant said that at this point, it’s not known how many new surgeons TMH will hire to help staff the Mustian Center.
“I can tell you, though, as far as staff is concerned, it’s not just doctors,” he said. TMH will need more specialists, nurses and support staff, especially nurses.
“There’s a nursing shortage anyway. When we look at what our demands are now, and including what we see coming out with the Mustian Center, we recognize that we’re going to have to recruit upward of 500 nurses from what we have now,” O’Bryant said. “So, we are very active on that front. It is a huge number. But we are working with FSU and FAMU — and very closely with TCC. They expanded their nursing program to include a four-year degree, their first baccalaureate program at TCC, to help us with the development of a source of nurses for here but we also recently brought on a nurse sourcing specialist, which is a new kind of concept.”
Pulmonologist Campo said that his practice is looking to expand its roster of physicians.
“Right now, we have four full-time physicians dedicated to the hospital at our practice. When we go to this new ICU tower, we’ll probably need six,” he said. “So our practice is growing and recruiting more critical care doctors to come in and help us out. Along with doctors and nurses, you need more CNAs, monitor techs, all sorts of other positions that are going to be needed to provide care to all these patients.”
O’Bryant said TMH prefers turning to the local medical colleges and technical schools for help filling all these needs.
“Clearly, as we engage in expanding our role and services, we look for quality physicians to come in and provide clinical leadership because, at the end of the day, hospitals only provide a platform for care,” he said. “We’re finding it easier to get people who already have an orientation to Tallahassee through the medical school to come back to Tallahassee after their residency and fellowship programs. But we’re also expanding residency programs. And as we kind of build our own bench, we think about the old farm-team approach to baseball. If we can grow our own, one, it’s easier to keep them; but we can also pick the best, you know who the best are.”