HCA/TriStar’s Centennial Medical Center broke ground today on a $30 million expansion of The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centennial that will fully integrate comprehensive cancer diagnosis and treatment services under one roof.

Today’s groundbreaking ceremony kicks off an approximate $160 million expansion project on the Centennial Medical Center campus that will add 51 beds and include the construction of a dedicated heart and vascular center in first quarter of 2010.

Located at 2410 Patterson St. in Nashville, the 200,000 square-foot cancer center will bring together traditional tools for fighting cancer, such as surgery, radiation oncology (including the area’s only CyberKnife stereotactic radiosurgery unit), chemotherapy and immunotherapy, with programs and resources such as the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation and patient nurse navigators to support patients and their families through the many facets of diagnosis, treatment and aftercare.

The expansion of the cancer center, designed by Earl Swensson Associates, will add a new entrance and patient drop-off area; a two-story lobby with pre-admission testing and registration areas; a surgical suite with four operating rooms, preoperative and recovery space; an imaging center; laboratory; pharmacy; and a healing garden. There will be specific units for blood and marrow transplantation, hematological malignancy, medical oncology and surgical oncology.

Brasfield and Gorrie will begin construction in mid-August. The cancer center expansion is expected to be complete in August 2010.

Cancer diagnoses have steadily been rising and are expected to hit 12 million worldwide this year. The World Health Organization estimates cancer will overtake heart disease as the world's top killer by 2010.

“Tennesseans deserve access to outstanding cancer care close to home,” said Centennial Medical Center President and CEO Thomas Herron. “With the expansion of The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centennial, we will ensure we can continue to meet the growing needs of the region.”

“Today is about building hope for the future – a place where those diagnosed with cancer can find healing and support with the most advanced, state-of-the-art treatment options, including clinical trials through the Sarah Cannon Research Institute – all in a single location,” said Rocky Billups, administrator of The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center.

About The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center

The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center was named in 1991 after Sarah Cannon, creator of the beloved Minnie Pearl, who experienced a personal bout with cancer. The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centennial is part of The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center Network—a group of nine affiliated medical facilities in Tennessee and southern Kentucky that are accredited by The Cancer Commission of the American College of Surgeons with commendations for excellent cancer care. With hundreds of cancer experts and researchers, The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center Network has grown to become the largest community-based, privately-funded diagnostic and treatment center in the country. Through its investment in advanced technologies and the latest treatment modalities, more patients are benefiting from life-saving cancer diagnosis, treatment and access to clinical trials close to where they live and work. For more information about The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center, call TriStar MedLine at 615-342-1919 or 800-242-5662 or visitSarahCannon.com.

About Centennial Medical Center

Located in Nashville, Centennial Medical Center, part of HCA’s TriStar Health System, is a 615-bed facility accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).  At the completion of the expansion project, the hospital will have 657 beds. One of Tennessee’s most complete medical facilities, the hospital campus is home to The Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centennial, The Women’s Hospital at Centennial, Centennial Heart Center as well as Parthenon Pavilion, one of the oldest and largest full-service psychiatric facilities in the region. Round-the-clock care is also available at Centennial Medical Center at Ashland City, a critical access hospital in nearby Cheatham County. For more information about Centennial Medical Center, call TriStar MedLine at 615-342-1919 or 800-242-5662 or go to TriStarHealth.com and click on Centennial Medical Center.