The region's dedicated Heart Hospital at the University of Tennessee Medical Center is complete. The Heart Hospital is a one-of-a-kind facility in Knoxville and in the East Tennessee region with physicians, staff and services solely dedicated for the care of cardiovascular disease. That dedicated approach to treatment, hospital officials say, is expected to result in further improved quality of care for patients with cardiovascular disease.
The $26 million, 4-story, 126,000 square-foot building adjoins the front of The University of Tennessee Medical Center's main Knoxville campus. The dedicated heart hospital concept, according to Joseph R. Landsman, Jr., president and CEO of The University of Tennessee Medical Center, is to bring the best possible care and patient outcomes by maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of heart, lung and vascular services at the medical center. The Heart Hospital will expand the inpatient services of The University of Tennessee Medical Center's Heart Lung Vascular Institute.
The coordination of care at a dedicated heart hospital includes a close proximity and ease of access for physicians and staff between the medical center's cardiovascular intensive care unit, cardiac catheterization center, operating rooms, emergency department and LIFESTAR. The main floor of the Heart Hospital serves as the new front entrance to The University of Tennessee Medical Center. Visitors walk in to a four-story open air lobby and atrium area including a 40-foot feature wall with custom lighting, creating the effect of a moving waterfall as well as an elegant 25-foot custom designed chandelier created specifically for the Heart Hospital. The chandelier was designed by Teresa Kidwell, a third year design student with UT College of Architecture and Design. Kidwell's plans were chosen from a multitude of entries from interior design students. This front area leads to a main information desk, access to health information and a dramatic 30-foot wall recognizing donors to The University of Tennessee Medical Center.
The second floor of the Heart Hospital houses a vastly expanded, state-of-the-art cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU). The 24-bed private-room unit adds six beds to the medical center's current CVICU. Each room is large, easily accommodating families, thus enabling loved ones to take an active role in the positive healing environment. Each room, according to medical center officials, offers visitors and patients attractive design elements throughout the room and private restroom facilities, a flat panel television set and a sleeper sofa for a family member. The second floor lobby features the HeartSaver Wall, a three-dimensional artistic display with a striking flowing red-heart and glass tiled donor recognition plaques.