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Baptist West sees changes and milestones

Baptist Hospital West is celebrating its first open heart surgeries while preparing to merge with Baptist Hospital For Women.

Baptist West surgeon Michael Maggart performed the hospital’s first open heart surgery Monday, Nov. 3.

The patient was a 67-year-old restaurant worker from Hartford, Tenn., Benjamin Johns.

“The case went very well. It felt like a routine surgery,” Maggart said of the quintuple bypass.

“What makes it so good is that I’m surrounded by the same team I’ve worked with for many years,” he added.

The open heart program was relocated to Baptist West from the former Baptist Hospital downtown, which now operates as an outpatient facility.

“This is such a milestone for the hospital. To see the amount of teamwork and expertise that has come together over the last several months, to lead to this first case today, is just exceptional,” David Loving, administrator at Baptist West, said.

As of Nov. 10, Baptist West surgeons had performed five open heart surgeries.

Mercy Health Services also has announced the merger of Baptist West and the 26-bed Baptist Hospital for Women.

The move is being made for clerical reasons.

“It's really a bureaucratic and cost savings measure. It doesn't have anything to do with service,” Jerry Askew, senior vice president for external affairs, said.

Patients won't notice a difference; the move simply will eliminate unnecessary actions, such as the need to re-register when moving from one hospital to another.

The merger of St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee formed Mercy Health Partners in January.


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