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Old Posted Mar 2, 2010, 7:46 PM
Johnny Ryall Johnny Ryall is offline
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Here's an updated post & pic of the new medical office building @ Jackson,TN's impressive medical center. It's jewel being West TN Healthcare's Jackson-Madison Co. General Hospital, the epicenter of the state's largest public health system and a Level 2 Trauma Center. Let's hope TN governor Phil Bredesen doesn't try to destroy this fine public institution as the Regional Medical Center of Memphis' fresh blood ($80 million dollars of federal funding) drips from his corporatist fangs.

New medical office building scheduled to open Tuesday
the Jackson Sun | By NED B. HUNTER

Construction of the tower and the elevated walkway cost $16.7 million.


A new medical office building that incorporates the latest in surgical equipment, Internet technology and patient privacy is scheduled to open in March. The building's design also is expected to give doctors' more time with patients in exam rooms and at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. The reasons are the building's proximity to Jackson General and because its design clusters patient exam rooms around doctors' offices. "Everything flows in a circular fashion," said Dr. Brad Priester, "and that gets people into surgery faster." Priester is a retinal surgeon with Mid-South Retina Associates. His offices will be on the building's first floor. Internet and other industry innovations were adapted into the Medical Center Physicians Tower, which is to the south of Jackson General at 700 W. Forest Ave. Priester and his partner will use advanced microscopes to perform micro-surgery on the eyes. Health care system board members approved the purchase of three of the microscopes for not more than $385,000 at a Tuesday board meeting. "You will not be able to find a better microscope in the country after those arrive," Priester said. That technology, however, would be useless had engineers not installed the latest in air conditioning and humidity control systems in the medical office building. The systems create a nearly "fog" free environment inside surgical suites, Priester said, keeping equipment at optimal surgical status. "You cannot have any fogging occur when you are looking through the (eye pieces) of the microscope and other lenses," he said. "The air filtration system really enhances micro surgery."

The more than 106,000-square-foot Physicians Medical Tower is owned by Charlotte, N.C.-based Cogdell-Spencer, a Real Estate Investment Trust company. It was built on the south side of West Forest Avenue across from Jackson General by Erdman Co. - a division of Cogdell Spencer. It cost about $21 million to construct the five-story building. West Tennessee Healthcare, which owns Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, owns the land the building occupies. The health care system is renting the entire first and second floors and part of the third, from Cogdell Spencer. The tower's first floor will be used to perform outpatient surgery. The second floor will be a neurological center, while the third will house an in-house pharmacy. The first floor is just under 33,500 square feet. The health care system is leasing the floor for a little more than $698,000 annually for 20 years, according to hospital records. That does not include operating expenses. Utilities will be metered separately, and operating expenses will be billed monthly for actual cost. The second floor is just under 19,500 square feet. The health care system has a 10 year lease for $481,709 annually for that floor. That lease, however, includes all operating expenses, including utilities, real estate taxes, maintenance, janitorial services, etc. The third floor pharmacy is 662 square feet and is being leased for 10 years at an annual cost of just under $16,400, hospital records state. That lease also includes all operating expenses. Each of the three leases contain an annual increase equal to the Consumer Price Index.

Bobby Arnold, president and chief executive officer of West Tennessee Healthcare, said the system preferred to lease the building rather than pay for construction. "We weren't necessarily interested in owning office space for physicians," he said. He added, however, that the building is a necessary addition to the area's medical community. "We need more physicians in the community," he said, "and they need quality space like this in order to practice." West Tennessee Healthcare built and owns the eight-story parking garage that connects to the medical office building. The garage allows patients access to the building without being exposed to any inclement weather. There will be a second garage in the future. The health care system also built an elevated pedestrian walkway that spans West Forest Avenue. The walkway connects the medical tower to Jackson General's third floor elevator bank. The walkway keeps patients and hospital staff from having to cross West Forest Avenue. It is rated to sustain 190 mph winds, or the equivalent of an EF-4 tornado.
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