Stakeholder team helps determine future of Nashville General

Clockwise from top: Dr. Judy Cummings, Tenn. State  Rep. Harold Love, Jr. , Freda Player  and Metro Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher .

(Clockwise from top) Dr. Judy Cummings, Tenn. State Rep. Harold Love, Jr. , Freda Player and Metro Councilwoman Tanaka Vercher.

Weeks after Mayor Megan Barry announced her proposal to close inpatient care at the hospital and refocus Nashville General Hospital’s operations to an outpatient facility, Meharry Medical College has volunteered to host and facilitate a work team to help determine the best course of action.

In a letter written to Mayor Megan Barry, Meharry President/CEO Dr. James Hildreth has offered to help shape the future of Nashville General Hospital.

“The services provided at Nashville General Hospital, and the people who are served there, are vital to the heart and soul of our city. Protecting the health of the people who rely on Nashville General is of paramount importance to all of us who care about our city,” said Hildreth. “I know that the future of Nashville General is of particular concern to you as mayor and is the driving force behind your recent proposal to transition to a new model of care. I am writing to offer Meharry’s assistance by convening a team of stakeholders which will help define the new model and ensure it is providing the best possible outcomes for all involved.”

The Stakeholder Work Team will include prominent community members impacted by the proposal for Nashville General Hospital. Notable names are Dr. Judy Cummings who is a registered nurse and senior pastor at New Covenant Christian Church; District 58 state Rep. Harold Love, Jr.; Freda Player, political director, SEIU Local 205; and Tanaka Vercher, Metro Council, District 28.

Barry says that her proposal was the starting point for our discussion and that now it is time for all involved to work together to develop that proposal into a workable and sustainable reality.

In a letter to the Metro Council, Barry acknowledged the difficulty in determining the right direction for Nashville General Hospital and that her intent is to ensure the best care for the indigent while making the most of available resources.

“I am grateful to Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, president/CEO of Meharry Medical College, who has offered to spearhead the formation of a Stakeholder Work Team to study the situation from all perspectives and define the model that will work best for our community,” said Barry.

Once its work is done, the Stakeholder Work Team will present its recommendations to the Hospital Authority and Metro Council.