Vanderbilt adds to Williamson medical offerings

Vanderbilt's Bill Wilkerson Center, which works on ENT, speech and language-related conditions, is expanding its services to two sites in Franklin.
Feb 18, 2011 10:44 AM

'We'll be here for a long time'

U.S. Marshals Service officers today raided the Franklin home of Sommet CEO Brian Whitfield and his wife. But it might be a while before creditors of the HR services company that used to sponsor the home of the Predators see some money coming their way.
A tipster called and said they saw a moving truck outside with seven agents loading up boxes from the home. Shelton said they are there to remove property but haven't touched a thing yet. Marshals can't remove property because Marsha Whitfield filed for personal bankruptcy. Shelton said they will remain on the property pending orders of the court.
Feb 2, 2011 2:16 PM

Franklin road

The Mayor of Franklin is going to head up TDOT:
Tennessee Governor-elect Bill Haslam today announced Franklin Mayor John Schroer as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Schroer was sworn in as Franklin Mayor in 2007, and is a member of the Middle Tennessee Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Regional Transit Authority. Schroer spent a decade working in commercial real estate finance before starting his own development business. Prior to his election, he served on the Franklin Special School Board for 13 years, and he also has served on the board of the Tennessee School Board Association. “As a mayor, John Schroer has knowledge of transportation issues at the ground level, and he’s shown himself to be someone who gets results,” Haslam said. “I’m grateful that he’s joining our team, and I believe Tennessee’s transportation system will be in good hands.” The Transportation Department (TDOT) handles multiple transportation responsibilities including highways, aviation, public transit, waterways and railroads. Schroer has a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee. He served previously on the Williamson County United Way board and was a founding board member of Franklin Tomorrow. “I’m excited to be joining the outstanding team Gov.-elect Haslam has put together, and I’m honored and humbled by the choice,” Schroer said. “I’ve worked with TDOT previously, and I’m looking forward to begin working with the great staff at the department.” Schroer, 59, is married to Marianne, and they have three grown children. They are members of Franklin First United Methodist Church.
Jan 4, 2011 2:21 PM

Williamson County residents: What hospital sale?

According to a recent poll of 400 Williamson County residents, most are unaware that a county commissioner recently floated the idea of selling the profitable Williamson Medical Center to eliminate the county's debt. They do, however, have an opinion about what type of buyer they'd like to see in a hypothetical sale situation. The poll was conducted in December by a Tennessee-based survey company in conjunction with a local healthcare company. Results were supplied to on condition of anonymity. Here are some of the findings:
  • 63 percent of respondents are unaware of recent talk about a potential WMC sale. Only 2 percent were "very familiar" with the recent talk and publicity.
  • When asked about the potential benefits of the sale of WMC, respondents were either neutral or unsure of the benefit of WMC becoming a tax paying organization. There was stronger positive sentiment about the possibility that WMC debt would no longer be an obligation to the county.
  • When asked what kind of partners would be acceptable for WMC, 64 percent said an academic system would be acceptable, 55 percent said a faith-based organization would be acceptable, and 43 percent said a national hospital company would be acceptable.
  • 44 percent said an academic medical center would be their first choice for a partner. 25 percent chose a faith-based system, and 13 percent picked a national hospital company.
  • Most people, 55 percent, said they'd need more information before deciding if they'd support or oppose the hospital's sale.
When told about some of these statistics, the commissioner who proposed the idea of selling WMC, Bob Barnwell, said he's not surprised most people aren't aware of the discussion. "I'd say that the potential of taxpayers that don't even know that they own a hospital is probably higher than that," he said. SEE Also: Well, OK then
Dec 27, 2010 12:05 PM

CHS shopping early, close to home?

When Williamson County Commissioner Bob Barnwell suggested selling Williamson Medical Center to pay off county debt at a recent committee meeting, it was just that — a suggestion. There's no formal plan to sell the (profitable) hospital. And should the idea take hold, a formal, closed bidding process would likely follow. But according to Barnwell, the "early stage" of the concept didn't stop one company from giving him a verbal pat on the back for suggesting the sale. An acquisition executive at Community Health Systems gave him a call after the Williamson Herald first reported on the committee meeting and was "supportive of my viewpoint," he said. "It was an interesting conversation, to put it mildly," Barnwell said. He speculated that, should the sale process commence and CHS emerge as its ultimate owner, the hospital could be the Franklin-based company's local "crown jewel."
Dec 1, 2010 8:10 AM

County commissioner raises prospect of selling Williamson Medical

Bob Barnwell went there. At a recent committee meeting, the Williamson County commissioner laid out his thoughts on the merits of selling the self-supporting Williamson Medical Center to wipe out the county's debts.
“The role of government is to do what the private sector can or will not do. We need to focus on things relevant to the taxpayers. It’s just something we need to evaluate.” Barnwell emphasized this is not a short-term fix. It would free up tax money for many years to come. “It would take a long time before the debt would reach its current level,” he said.
The prospect of folding Williamson Medical into a for-profit operator's network has long been a parlor game of sorts for area health care types. If Barnwell and his fellow commissioners go down the sale path, expect every local hospital chain worth its salt — as well as the few headquartered outside Middle Tennessee — to get involved in the bidding.
Nov 29, 2010 11:15 AM

More retail at McEwen

Southern Land has tweaked its plans for the southern edge of its McEwen development in Franklin. The new layout for Southside at McEwen comprises three retail buildings between the nearly completed Whole Foods store (far left in the image below) and the McEwen office building. The larger buildings will be 19,000 square feet each, the smaller restaurant building will be about 7,000 square feet. Southern Land's previous plans had called for a hotel and some residential units in that area.

Nov 22, 2010 8:14 AM

Because Cool Springs isn't just for the big boys

Williamson County's Office for Economic Development this morning rolled out a Web site showcasing the county as a place for entrepreneurs to take flight. The launch, timed to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week, features data and other resources to help entrepreneurs grow their ideas.
Nov 15, 2010 10:59 AM

Brentwood Town Center zoning changes on track

There appears to be little standing in the way of sweeping changes in the development parameters for the Brentwood Town Center area. The Williamson Herald has more on some pigs-will-fly unanimity at this week's City Commission meeting.
Nov 12, 2010 7:34 AM