Heart Lung & Vascular

Heart, Lung and Vascular Nursing Units

                                                                                            Jeanne Wohlford, MBA, RN, FACHE
Janell R. Cecil, MSN, RN, NEA-BC                                                                                             Jeanne Wohlford, MBA, BSN, RN, FACHE

Chief Nursing Officer & Senior Vice President

                                                                                            Vice President 
Heart Lung Vascular Institute


Heart, lung and vascular nursing areas include the following:

Cardiac Cath Lab

Nurse Manager - Becky Newport, BSN, RN, RN-BC


Location: 6 South

The University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab is a multidisciplinary department, providing cardiac services for inpatient and outpatient populations from neonates to geriatric patients. The Cardiac Catheterization Lab performs more than 6,700 procedures each year. The lab provides 24-hour access to emergency procedures, while implementing the newest technology to improve patient outcomes. It also is the only facility in the Knoxville area providing catheterization for patients with congenital heart disease. Adult and pediatric cardiologists perform lifesaving procedures as well as improve the quality of life for patients of all ages. 

Procedures include evaluation and treatment for the following.

  • Angina
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction
  • Atrial and Ventricular Arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation)
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Peripheral and Carotid Artery Disease
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Renal Artery Stenosis
  • Thromboembolic disease
  • Structural Heart Disease
  • Valvular Heart Disease

The following diagnostic services are available:

  • Adult Right and Left Cardiac Catheterization
  • Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization
  • Electrophysiology Studies
  • Temporary Pacemakers
  • Fractional  Flow Reserve
  • Intravascular Ultrasounds
  • Endomyocardial Biopsy
  • Peripheral and renal arteriography
  • Transesophageal Echo (TEE)

Interventional procedures that are offered.

  • Stenting of the coronary, renal, carotid and peripheral arteries
  • Rotational Atherectomy
  • Atrial Septal Devices
  • Patent Foramen Ovale Closure
  • Balloon Valvuloplasty
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Thrombectomy
  • Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty
  • Permanent Pacemaker
  • Intracardiac Defibrillator
  • Lead Extraction
  • Implantable Cardiac Ablation

In keeping with UT Medical Center’s tradition of teaching and research, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab works with the Graduate School of Medicine and faculty cardiologists to train cardiology fellows and medical residents.   The lab also participates in multiple research studies and clinical trials.

The staff and physicians working in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab are committed to quality outcomes.  The department participates in numerous national data registries and utilizes the information to improve processes and care delivery.

Endovascular Suite 

Interim Nurse ManagerBecky Newport, BSN, RN, RN-BC


Location: 6 South

The Endovascular Suite includes three rooms and the Endovascular Recovery Unit (EVR). Two of which are hybrid suites in the main operating room and a third suite which is shared with the Cardiac Catheterization Lab. The suites combine conventional open surgical and endovascular techniques to treat a wide variety of vascular diseases. The department performs more than 2,400 inpatient and outpatient procedures annually. The Endovascular lab serves both adult and pediatric populations. The Endovascular suite is staffed 24/7 with board-certified vascular surgeons, vascular fellows, registered nurses, registered radiological technologists, certified surgical technologist, and surgical scrub technologist. Each member of our staff is ACLS certified.


The Endovascular Recovery (EVR) Unit is an 8 bed unit providing pre and post procedural care for our vascular patients undergoing outpatient procedures. These procedures include arteriograms of the extremities, mesenteric, carotid, and renal vascular accesses. The staff in EVR strives to provide 5 star services to patients and family members during their stay.


Cardiovascular Intensive Care

Nurse Manager - Kristi Boggess, MSN, RN, NE-BC


Location: 2 Heart Hospital

The New Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) opened in April 2010 as the premiere unit to the newly built Heart Hospital. The CVICU is a 24 bed unit that provides each patient with a private room, state of the art technologies, open family visitation and a family centered model of patient care. Our nurses are specialized in caring for patients with cardiovascular intensive care needs.

In working collaboratively with cardiologists, cardio-thoracic surgeons and vascular surgeons, the multidisciplinary team strives to exceed expected outcomes for patients who are:

  • Immediately post open heart surgery;
  • Thoracotomies;
  • Aortic Aneurysm Repair;
  • Acute Myocardial Infarction;
  • Any other post-surgical cardiac condition requiring intensive hemodynamic monitoring and intervention.

In addition to caring for cardiac surgery patients, the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit provides patients with prolonged cardiac arrest and anoxiato the brain with Therapeutic Hypothermia treatment. This medical treatment lowers a patient's body temperature in order to help reduce the risk of ischemic injury to tissue, especially the brain, following a period of insufficient blood flow.

Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit

Nurse Manager - Jada Bates, MSN, RN, RN-BC


Location: 3 Heart Hospital

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit (CTSU) is a 30-bed telemetry unit, located on the 3rd floor of the Heart Hospital, offering patients the most up-to-date treatments and innovations in cardiothoracic surgery procedures available.

As an integral component of the Heart Lung Vascular Institute, CTSU serves as a step-down unit for the CVICU, providing collaborative care for post open heart surgery (both CABG and Valve), Mini-Maze, VATS as well as other post surgical cardiothoracic procedures. Our patient population is not limited to post surgical care; based on demand and request, we serve other monitored patients requiring cardiac diagnostic test, treatments, infusions and observation, including patients with congestive heart failure.

Our expert staff is committed to delivering the highest quality of healthcare to a very high acuity patient population and frequently receive praise for providing excellent care with an extra special touch. We truly function with golden opportunities at the heart of leading-edge technology, research and education in collaboration with our cardio-thoracic surgeons, cardiologists and other physicians as well as a multidisciplinary patient management team. Last but not least, we recognize and value patient satisfaction as the very heart of our practice.

Medical / Interventional Cardiology

Nurse Manager - Laura Russell-Harper, MSN, RN, NE-BC


Location: 4 Heart/West

The Medical / Interventional Cardiology Unit is a 31-bed unit specializing in the care of patients with coronary artery disease requiring medical management and/or interventional treatment. The unit provides acute nursing care, including ongoing assessment, cardiac monitoring and dysrhythmia recognition, medication administration and cardioversion.

Our staff maintains a close relationship with the Cardiac Catheterization Lab in order to accommodate the increasing volume of patients undergoing procedures that require extended observation. A multidisciplinary approach, including Case Management, Clinical Nutrition, Pharmacy and Cardiac Rehabilitation is used to facilitate discharge planning. Many of our post cardiac catheterization patients are discharged within 24 hours.

Some frequent diagnoses admitted to Medical / Interventional Cardiology Unit includes the following:

Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience in cardiovascular nursing are given the opportunity to become professionally certified cardiovascular nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (www.nursecredentialing.org).

Neuro and Stroke Unit

Nurse Manager - Josh Hawkins, MSN, RN, NVRN-BC


Location: 7 South

The Neurological/Stroke Unit is a 21 bed acute care telemetry unit that specializes in the care of complex neurological patients focusing on stroke.  Our multidisciplinary team consists of a nurse manager, primary nurse, team leader, stroke coordinator, and director, stroke nurse practitioner, rehabilitation services, case management, pharmacist, and dietician.  Our population includes care of stroke patients, brain tumors, craniotomies, complicated migraines, and other neurological/degenerative diseases.

Our skilled and professional staff promotes and delivers high-quality patient and family-centered care.  The University of Tennessee Medical Center encourages specialty certification. Certification includes Neurovascular Registered Nurse (NVRN), Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN), or Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN).

The Neurological/Stroke unit plays an integral role with The Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center at The University of Tennessee Medical Center and has been recognized as an American Stroke Association /American Heart Association Performance Achievement Award winner annually since 2008. Since 2011, the Stroke Center team has earned the Get With the Guidelines Gold Plus Performance Award annually since 2011. 

Pulmonary Medicine

Nurse Manager - Amanda Groover, MSN, RN


Location: 9 East

This unique Adult Medical Surgical Unit was created with the vision of the University Pulmonary & Critical Care in an effort to concentrate this patient population in one specific area. The goal was to develop a competent professional staff, specializing in Respiratory Nursing.

This 30-bed, telemetry unit was established in 1984. The nursing staff is committed to excellence and strives to deliver the highest level of quality nursing care. The staff takes great pride in the complex care of the respiratory patient.

The patient population consists predominately of patients with respiratory diseases. Consequently, these patients have a wide range of medical pathophysiology, including diabetes; ASHD; vascular insufficiency; OSA; and cancer of the lung, larynx, throat and tongue. The medical staff includes primarily the pulmonologists, but there are a wide variety of specialists that admit to this unit. Internal Medicine and Family Practice residents—under the direction of medical staff dedicated to teaching and research—are an integral part of this unit.

The multidisciplinary team of 9 East consists of a nurse manager, professional RN staff, clinical pharmacist, respiratory therapist, clinical dietician, case manager, physical therapist, certified nursing assistants and unit secretaries. The cohesion of this team creates a stimulating atmosphere with focus on education, discharge planning and preventative care. These team members are committed to maintaining optimal patient outcomes.

Pulmonary Medicine provides an exciting challenge for the professional nurse. Each nurse is provided with a unit-based orientation while working with an experienced professional preceptor. This comprehensive orientation provides an opportunity to draw from the expertise of all the disciplines, especially the clinical pharmacist and respiratory therapist.

Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit

Nurse Manager - Stephanie Frome, MSN, RN, CMSRN


Location: 6 East

The Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit (VSTU) is a 30-bed intermediate care unit specializing in the care of patients with vascular disorders or disease and patients who have undergone kidney transplants. This multidisciplinary team was formed in 2002 to provide a focused approach to care for this growing population and its unique needs. The unit provides an intermediate level of care for patients where invasive monitoring and telemetry are available for patients undergoing surgical interventions. The VSTU provides collaborative care for the following:


  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Peripheral vascular bypass surgery
  • Kidney Transplantation

Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience with these populations are given the opportunity to become professionally certified cardiovascular nurses through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and certified clinical transplant nurses through the American Board for Transplant Certification.

In the Vascular Surgery & Transplant Unit, a multidisciplinary team, including patients and family, work together to promote recovery and return to optimal health.

Neuro Spine 

Nurse Manager - Beverly Parker, BSN, RN


Location: 6 South


As part of the Heart Lung Vascular Institute, our Neurology and Spine Unit is a 28-bed unit that specializes in the excellent care of patients with neurological and spine related disease processes. We specifically care for patients in the post-operative period from a variety of spinal surgeries that can include:


  • Anterior Cervical Decompression & Fusion (ACDF)
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
  • Thoracic Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
  • Discectomy
  • Kyphoplasty
  • Hardware removal

Our neuro/spine patient population consists predominately of patient with disease processes related to the vascular and central nervous system.  These can include:

  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Encephalopathy
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Paresthesia

We serve patients and their families by utilizing a multidisciplinary approach towards care and discharge planning.  The multidisciplinary team consists of the nurse manager, clinical nurse specialist, professional nursing staff, clinical pharmacist, physical therapy and case management.  The Neurology and Spine Unit has daily discharge rounds that facilitate the discharge process and allows for continuity of care after the hospital stay.  Our skilled and professional staff promotes and delivers high-quality patient and family-centered care. 


The University of Tennessee Medical Center encourages specialty certification.  Nurses with at least two years of direct patient care experience with these populations are given the opportunity to become professionally certified.  Certification includes Neurovascular Registered Nurse (NVRN), Stroke Certified Registered Nurse (SCRN), or Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (CNRN).