NHC previews $18.5 million facility

National HealthCare Corporation previewed its new transitional care center Tuesday, part of the company’s $18.5-million investment to expand its services in Columbia.

The new 75,000 square-foot center, located at 5010 Trotwood Ave., is scheduled to officially open Jan. 2, and will cover a large spectrum of care options, with most of its focus on treatment and short-term visits for patients. The joint effort with Maury Regional Medical Center will create more than 125 new jobs.

The facility was built by American Constructors contracting company. Initial discussions about the new NHC-Maury Regional project began five years ago, NHC President Steve Flatt said. “We provide all types of senior care, but this is a licensed skilled nursing facility, but it is going to specialize in helping seniors who have had surgeries or conditions like joint replacements and strokes actually rehab and get back on their feet and get home,” Flatt said. “There will be some long-term care residents here, but the vast majority will actually be here for shorter stays to get back home.”

A special open house and ribbon cutting event took place Tuesday afternoon, with hundreds of visitors ranging from city officials, Maury County Chamber of Commerce members and representatives who helped bring the idea to fruition. Guests treated themselves to self-guided tours of the facility, which includes 112 nursing beds (98 with private rooms), three dining areas, workout lounge and vintage Columbia photographs lining the halls.

The project was to expand the NHC Hillview campus and the Maury Regional Skilled Nursing Unit to a larger facility, bringing 92 beds from NHC Hillview and 20 beds from the nursing unit.

Administrator Edward Moore, who has run NHC Hillview for 23 years and oversees the Skilled Nursing Unit, said he is excited about the joint venture and the success the partnership has had in bringing the new facility to life.

“The staff at NHC Hillview is tremendous at pitching in wherever they had to to get this job done,” Moore said. “Today we’re celebrating the building, but tomorrow and the months and years to come, it’ll be about the service. That’s the level of service we’re going to aspire to.”

Tuesday’s open house also included a reception featuring top-of-the-line catering from Maury Regional chefs and dietitians in each of the NHC’s three dining areas, followed by a performance by the Heimermann Children’s Choir.

NHC was founded in 1971 and its headquarters are in Murfreesboro. It is now the nation’s oldest publicly traded senior care company, with care centers in 10 U.S. states. Its relationship with Maury Regional began 20 years ago, when it opened its Skilled Nursing Unit at the hospital.

“NHC and Maury Regional’s relationship has long been founded on the trust in each other and the shared vision of quality for our patients,” NHC South-Central regional vice president Doran Johnson said. “Over the years, NHC and Maury Regional have accomplished many wonderful things for this wonderful community. This legacy of a close-working relationship continues today, and we look forward to what lies ahead.”

Originally appeared in The Columbia Daily Herald.

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