World-Class Care in the Heart of Wilson County

Many locals will say that Mt. Juliet is the best of both worlds. It has a small-town feel with the amenities and opportunities of a larger town. Perhaps one of the greatest indicators that Mt. Juliet has arrived, though, is the availability of world-class healthcare right in our backyard. 

 R. Scott Frankenfield, MD, MMHC, chief of staff and director of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital (VWCH) has played an active role in helping make that happen.

While Dr. Frankenfield is not native to Mt. Juliet, he grew up visiting family here and was familiar with its charms. In 2009, he and his wife decided to move to Mt. Juliet with their seven children. He transitioned his medical focus from family medicine to emergency medicine during that time. 

For his first ten years in Middle Tennessee, Dr. Frankenfield worked as an emergency medicine physician staffing various ERs throughout the region. 

When Vanderbilt began the process of purchasing what was then Tennova Healthcare–Lebanon, they felt it was important to have an ER director in place to help prepare for the transition. The facility's CEO contacted the physician group that employed Dr. Frankenfield at the time and asked if he was interested in taking on the role. For Dr. Frankenfield, it was a great opportunity and one that would keep him close to home. 

Dr. Frankenfield describes the facility's evolution since he joined in 2019 as going from "good to great." Improvements began almost immediately after the acquisition in everything from maintenance on the parking lots and roofing to overhauling equipment like computers and cardiac monitors.

VWCH's ultimate goal is to transition from a community hospital to a regional facility, and with many of the changes already implemented, it is close to fulfilling that goal. Among the changes, Dr. Frankenfield is most excited about including the addition of interventional cardiology and neurology specialties, areas in which having on-staff experts can be lifesaving in an emergency, and the emergency department's designation as a Level III trauma center. This designation indicates the facility has the resources for emergency resuscitation, advanced surgical services, and high acuity intensive care.

"The changes that Vanderbilt has made are things that can take the hospital to the next level. They truly are doing everything possible to improve quality and efficiency," Dr. Frankenfield explained.

Other updates include incorporating a new hospitalist medicine group, a new electronic health record (EHR) system that connects VWCH with other hospital systems and facilities to better support continuity of care, as well as pediatric telemedicine to assess young patients and determine whether a trip to Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt is needed, to name a few.

"From an emergency medicine perspective, if you live in Wilson County, I don't see any reason why you wouldn't stay here for medical treatment," Dr. Frankenfield said. "I honestly believe people who haven't been here in years wouldn't recognize it. Everything has improved—the culture of caring, the professionalism, and certainly the quality of care."

While Dr. Frankenfield and the team at VWCH certainly hope that you don't have a reason to visit them, if you do, they want to reinforce that it's a place you can trust. And even better, it's close to home.

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