New ER, tower open at Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center

By Jamie Schnell

Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center celebrated a new, expanded emergency room and 4-story patient tower on March 21, and new patients were accepted officially on March 23. The new building, located at 7565 Dannaher Dr. in Powell, was an expansion created to help double the space.

The $67.5 million project took two years to build, increasing the ICU by 28 beds and adding 28 adult acute beds. The 98,000-square-foot tower is a patient center with brick-and-mortar improvements and new technology, such as “smart beds” that alert nurses to set bed alarms or remind patients to stay in their beds. This expansion also allows the hiring of about 130 medical and faculty positions.

Community leaders, providers and medical staff attended Thursday’s ribbon cutting and open house. Bill Rich, CEO, North Knoxville Medical Center said, “Today is a historic day. We’re here to see a promise come to reality. The hospital has been full every day, and the community has been growing for the past couple of years.

“There is an amazing group of individuals who work here, which will allow us to meet the growing community’s needs and keep our residents local for healthcare.”

Chaplain Ed Bardill led the prayer in blessing the hospitals, the patients, and all those who care for them.

Knoxville City Mayor Indya Kincannon spoke on her commitment to improving healthcare access and Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs said, “A systemic issue has been wait times county-wide, and this expansion will help mitigate this issue.”

“We are ready to open a new chapter… pursuing the dream and purpose to provide reliable medical care for our community,” said Dr. Frank Beuerlein, Chief Medical Officer.

Jeff Bagwell, public information officer with Rural Metro Fire and president of Powell BPA, “As a firefighter and paramedic for 33 years, I have seen the need for this expansion. I’m honored to be here and to be part of that promise to our community and the commitment of Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center.”

“I’m super excited as this is the culmination of several years of planning and allows the space for our team members and physicians to practice their craft,” said Tony Benton, CEO of Tennova Healthcare. “Having the additional space allows us to care for those patients that are very critical and sick.”

Following the speakers, the grand opening featured a ribbon cutting, a tour with refreshments served, and performances by the Powell High School Band and cheerleaders.

Tennova’s mission is to “provide compassionate, patient-centered, value-driven healthcare with excellence in quality, service, and access.”