August 20, 1891, marked a significant milestone in the history of Chattanooga, Tennessee. On that date, community leaders held a cornerstone ceremony to celebrate the completion of the foundation of Baroness Erlanger Hospital, the region’s first permanent hospital.
More than 100 years later, the site of the original hospital on East Third Street has grown into Erlanger Health System, a multi-hospital system with five campuses. Today Erlanger is the community’s tertiary care center and serves residents of 50 counties in four states within a 150-mile radius of
Chattanooga. As the region’s academic teaching hospital, Erlanger is the training ground for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, providing medical education for physicians through residency and fellowship programs.
Each year, more than a quarter of a million people receive medical care at Erlanger – including critical services that aren’t available at other area hospitals. Erlanger is the only Level I Trauma Center in the region. Hundreds of critically ill and injured patients are transported to the downtown Baroness Campus each year by LIFE FORCE, Erlanger’s fleet of three air ambulances stationed throughout the region. Moreover, the hospital system’s four emergency departments treat more than 100,000 patients each year.
Erlanger provides the region’s most specialized intensive care units, including the highest level of neonatal intensive care designated by the state at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital. A Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center—also the highest state designation—Children’s Hospital has physicians in virtually every pediatric subspecialty.
As Chattanooga’s only locally-owned and locally-operated hospital, Erlanger serves as a “safety net” for the indigent, providing medical care to all those who need it, regardless of one’s place of residence or ability to pay. In 2007 alone, for example, Erlanger provided nearly $72 million in healthcare to the community that was not reimbursed by insurance companies or government programs.
Today Erlanger encompasses five campuses—North, East, Bledsoe, and Children’s Hospital, located adjacent to the Baroness Campus in downtown Chattanooga. The health system also runs two community health centers, Southside and Dodson Avenue, which offer primary health services to the poor and underserved. Several family medicine practices and specialty practices owned by Erlanger provide healthcare services by board-certified physicians.
For future generations, Erlanger Health System remains committed to providing exceptional medical care to the community by investing in technology and improving facilities. In fact, Erlanger’s commitment to providing the highest quality of healthcare to the region has even been acknowledged by the President of the United States.
On February 21, 2007, U.S. President George W. Bush toured the Erlanger Baroness Campus. Accompanied by local, state, and national elected officials, he was briefed on the latest advancements in stroke treatment and received a hands-on demonstration of the da Vinci robotic surgical system. During a healthcare forum at the Chattanooga Convention Center, President Bush expressed admiration for Erlanger’s commitment to cutting-edge care. “I just toured a pretty fantastic hospital…on the leading edge of compassion,” President Bush said.
For more information call (423) 778-5465 or visit us at www.erlanger.org