February 7, 2007



COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Maury Regional Hospital (MRH) announced today that it would partner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) to provide cardio-thoracic surgery effective in April. MRH began offering cardio-thoracic surgery in January 2004, following the implementation of interventional procedures in May 2003.

“We believe this agreement with Vanderbilt will expand the successful cardio-thoracic surgery program that we implemented three years ago under the direction of Dr. David Wyatt. With Dr. Wyatt soon leaving at the end of his contract, we felt our best option was to partner with a leading provider of state-of-the-art heart surgery. We solicited proposals and the cardiologists on our medical staff were pleased with what Vanderbilt could bring to the program,” said Robert Otwell, MRH CEO.

Janice Vinson, M.D., a cardiologist on the medical staff at MRH, stated, “Although we had the opportunity to affiliate with other fine surgical programs, we have been impressed with the growth in cardiovascular surgery that Vanderbilt has experienced in recent years. Our relationship with Dr. Byrne and his staff as they have provided back-up coverage to Dr. Wyatt has been one of mutual respect and cooperation. Their pledge to help us serve our patients close to home—keeping the Maury program strong with our own cardiovascular surgeon on the medical staff—is important to us. As advanced technologies develop, Vanderbilt’s position as a leading provider of innovative cardiovascular care gives our patients the best of both worlds within their own community.”

According to Otwell, this agreement will increase the number of cardio-thoracic surgeons, cardio-thoracic anesthesiologists and perfusionists on the Heart Center’s surgical team. A primary cardio-thoracic surgeon will be identified with MRH, with additional VUMC staff having privileges to provide back-up coverage. The cardiovascular operating room and cardiovascular intensive care unit staff at MRH are expected to remain the same.

John Byrne, M.D., chair of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt, said that soon after his arrival at Vanderbilt in 2004, MRH asked if his team would be interested in providing coverage for their sole cardiovascular surgeon. Vanderbilt was chosen for this collaborative effort.

“During this period, we have gotten to know the staff, the cardiologists, the patients, as well as the community,” said Byrne. “We have developed an appreciation and strong working relationship with that entire team while providing coverage there.”

Harry R. Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs at Vanderbilt said, "We are both proud and pleased to partner with Maury Regional Hospital and its medical staff in providing cardiovascular care to the patients they serve. The future of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center lies in developing relationships with strong partners in our region, and Maury Regional Hospital is an outstanding partner."

In addition to a cardio-thoracic surgeon, there are currently five cardiologists on the medical staff at MRH who offer medical services and perform interventional procedures in the cardiovascular laboratory. Services provided through the Maury Regional Heart Center include coronary artery bypass grafting (open-heart surgery), interventional procedures (angioplasty and stenting), pacemaker and defibrillator implantations, cardiac testing and cardiac rehabilitation.  

This is not the first time that MRH has worked with VUMC. The hospital opened its neonatal intensive care unit in October 2006 with VUMC providing physicians and nurse practitioners specializing in neonatology.

“We’ve had a good experience working with Vanderbilt to provide neonatal intensive care services,” said Otwell. “They have helped us enhance the level of care that we provide to newborns and now we look forward to working with them on expanding our cardio-thoracic surgery program in the future.”


© 2008 Maury Regional Medical Center