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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Murfreesboro To Get New Psych Hospital

Rutherford County's medical community will see another 156 jobs while residents will get access to more services closer to home.

County officials approved a three-year $599,762 property tax break Friday for a proposed 60-bed physical rehabilitation, psychiatric and detoxification hospital, to be built on Thompson Lane near the new Middle Tennessee Medical Center.

"It will be the only hospital with these services between Nashville and Chattanooga," said Kevin Lee, the chief executive officer for Polaris Hospital Co., the Brentwood-based project developer. "Having this hospital fills gaps in this community."

The Rutherford County Industrial Development Board made agreed to the tax break after resuming a meeting that went into recess May 26 to gather more information on the tax-abatement application.

The board also voted to issue a $17 million taxable bond to help finance the $27.1 million project.

Polaris expects to complete the 70,000-square-foot building by August 2011 on the west side of Thompson Lane, about a block south of Wilkinson Pike.

The hospital will provide 27 beds for 12- to 18-day medical rehabilitation services for patients recovering from strokes, fractured hips, severe arthritis, spinal chord injuries and other problems, said Lee.

Psychiatric services will also provide about 12-day stays to treat people for depression, psychosis, illnesses that affect the elderly and other mental health problems.

The hospital will also offer two- or three-day detoxification services for people who need treatment to recover from abuse of alcohol and drugs.

The services should complement health care offered at the nearby MTMC, set to open for patients on Medical Center Parkway in November, and StoneCrest Medical Center, off Sam Ridley Parkway in Smyrna, Lee said.

He told the board he'll recruit at least three physicians, including two psychiatrists and a neurologist.

The hospital expects to have a $9.1 million payroll, which averages $58,170 per job to cover pay and benefits.

The company would have 90 employees on salary making more than $57,000 annually. Another 40 workers, who would represent 28 full-time equivalent jobs, would average $14.30 per hour. The overall average would be $53,800 per full-time job.

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