Country music superstar Luke Bryan, his wife Caroline Bryan and NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip joined hospital administrators and elected officials to innovate $200 million expansion of Williamson Medical Center Monday. The project will be the largest renovation to date for the hospital, which has been at its current home on Carothers Parkway since 1986.
“For us to be the preferred vendor in this space, as our vision statement says, we really need to match the physical blueprints and services with the DNA of this amazing people we have,” said Phil Mazzuca, CEO from Williamson Medical Center. “We already have the DNA here. I don’t have to find it. We have the compassionate care. ‘We don’t have to make that happen.'”
Williamson County is expected to double its population from 250,000 to 500,000 by 2040, and the multi-phase expansion of Williamson Medical Center aims to help the hospital keep up with this meteoric growth. The project will increase emergency room capacity, renovate rooms throughout the hospital and expand the hospital’s west tower with new floors and a new north wing.
The Williamson County Commission approved $150 million in bonds to help fund the project in October. That money will be paid back over the next 20 years, Mazzuca said.
Funding for hospital renovation: Williamson Medical Center to begin major renovation in 2022 with county help
The remaining $50 million will be raised in part through a fundraising campaign led by Luke Bryan and his wife, Caroline Bryan. Caroline Bryan, who serves as co-chair of the fundraising campaign, said her family decided to move to Franklin when they realized how close their potential new home would be to Williamson Medical Center.
“That’s where our kids are born. That’s where their doctors are. That’s where my doctors are,” said Caroline Bryan. “Everything from a routine visit to ER visits, everyone is fantastic, and watching this prepare to grow is so necessary. Now is the time. It’s exciting.”
She joked that as the mother of two exuberant boys, she appreciated the personal care and attention at the hospital. Luke Bryan said he was delighted to help the hospital provide the same level of service to other patients.
“We can have a voice to make sure it’s the best health care you could ever want,” said Luke Bryan.
At the groundbreaking, Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group was unveiled as the campaign’s first corporate partner. Waltrip, a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, operates a car dealership across the street.
“When I built my dealership here, they said, ‘Hey, you’re on the wrong side of the freeway,'” Waltrip said. “And then they built a hospital, and it took off from there. I’m proud of what they’ve done with this hospital, where it’s going, of their vision.”
Cole Villena covers Williamson County at The Tennessean, part of the USA Today – Tennessee network. Contact Cole at [email protected] or 615-925-0493. Follow Cole on Twitter at @ColeVillena and on Instagram at @CVinTennessee.