In announcing a new partnership with HCA to train students at TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, Meharry Medical College President and CEO James E.K. Hildreth, PhD, MD, called it a "historic day."
He continued, ""We could not be prouder to partner with HCA to broaden the training of our students. As fellow members of the Nashville healthcare community, Meharry and HCA have come to know and respect one another over many years. HCA has consistently demonstrated a commitment to providing high quality, compassionate care to communities throughout the country, including the diverse populations Meharry serves. We are pleased to forge an alliance that will advance how healthcare is delivered in our community."
Founded in 1876, Meharry is the nation's largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center dedicated to educating minority and other health professionals. Today, it is composed of a medical school, dental school and graduate school in research and health policy, and is recognized as a top five producer of primary care physicians and a leading producer of African Americans with PhDs. The school has educated generations of physicians, dentists, researchers and health policy experts dedicated to reducing healthcare disparities and promoting health equity.
The agreement with HCA advances Hildreth's vision to forge innovative partnerships that create the best opportunities for students and the local community. In recent years, Meharry has announced partnerships with institutions including Fisk University, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and Tennessee State University (TSU) to increase the number of primary care physicians among underserved communities.
The ability to train students at TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center also allows Meharry to bring students who have been training remotely back to Nashville. For several years, Meharry has sent students to hospitals out of state due to limited patient volume at Nashville General Hospital, the primary hospital where it has conducted its training. Coinciding with the announcement, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said Nashville General would become an outpatient facility.
"Meharry is a proud product of Nashville and grateful to the people, businesses and churches that have supported the college for the past 142 years," said Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the College of Medicine at Meharry Medical College Veronica Mallett, MD, MMM. "This partnership provides Meharry with the resources and reach to expose our students to specialized areas of medicine and expand into new areas of study that were not possible before. Together with HCA, we will be able to further lift the people we serve, resulting in better health and economic progress for all."