Parkridge East Hospital Looks Back On 4 Decades Of Caring For Community

Thursday, February 6, 2014

This year marks Parkridge East Hospital’s 40th anniversary of caring for the community, a milestone that facility staff and founders look forward to celebrating with patients, visitors, staff, and local leaders in the months to come, said officials.

“This hospital has served hundreds of thousands of people and delivered tens of thousands of babies over the past four decades,” notes Parkridge East Hospital CEO Jarrett Millsaps. “We look forward to what the future holds for our facility.” 

Parkridge East Hospital opened on June 6, 1974 as East Ridge Hospital, after nearly six years of planning by a group of 10 businessmen led by East Ridge City Manager Gene Drakeford and general surgeon William Rowe, MD. The hospital immediately met a need for services in the East Ridge community, but as word spread, it began to attract suburban and rural patients from across the area who did not want to drive all the way into downtown Chattanooga to receive care.

Best known for maternity services, the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opened its doors not long after the grand opening. A need for community-based NICU care encouraged the growth of the NICU from 10-18 bassinets shortly after the hospital’s 10th anniversary in 1984. Updates continued, with five additional Labor and Delivery rooms added to The Birth Place at Parkridge East Hospital in 1998 and another four NICU bassinets added in recent years to bring the total current NICU capacity to 22 patients.

Over the years, the facility has continued to add services and advanced technology. The Emergency Department was expanded in 1998 and modified again in 2013 – today, it is the busiest Emergency Room in Parkridge Health System, with over 40,000 annual visits. The hospital has continued to build imaging capabilities with the creation of the hospital’s Breast Center for mammography in 1998, the installation of a CT scanner in 2003 and a new MRI in 2012. 

Parkridge East Hospital has also been home to advances in minimally invasive gynecologic and general surgery. In 2012, the facility became home to Parkridge Health System’s robotic surgery program. Today, The Center for Robotic Surgery at Parkridge East Hospital is one of the busiest robotic surgery programs in the southeast, with over 2,000 surgeries performed to date.

Last year, the hospital put final touches on an extensive interior renovation that included updates to patient rooms as well as waiting rooms and other common areas. “We want to make our hospital as welcoming and comfortable as possible,” notes Mr. Millsaps. “We are committed to ongoing improvements that enhance the excellent care that we provide to our patients.”

“Parkridge East Hospital has offered outstanding service to the community, and it just keeps getting better,” notes Dr. Rowe. “It has exceeded the greatest expectations of its founders, and we are very proud of it.”  

For more information about Parkridge East Hospital, visit

Chattanooga CARES Begins Syringe Exchange Program Addressing Opioid Crisis In TN

Syringe Trade and Education Program of TN is being initiated and operated by Chattanooga CARES starting Monday to tackle the underlying community health concerns created by the opioid epidemic. "The purpose behind Chattanooga CARES launching STEP TN is to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, and other blood borne diseases, reduce needle stick injuries to law enforcement ... (click for more)

Matters Of The Mind: A Sereies On Memory Loss Begins March 22 At CHI

CHI Memorial Center for Healthy Aging is starting a series called Matters of the Mind: A Series on Memory Loss.  The first session will be held Thursday, March 22 from 6-7 p.m. at CHI Memorial Hospital Hixson’s Professional Office Building, 2051 Hamill Road, third floor conference room, in Hixson.     The topic will be “The Dementia Umbrella: Types of Dementia.”  ... (click for more)

Strong Wave Of Storms Could Bring Possibility Of Tornadoes, Large Hail

The National Weather Service is warning that a strong line of storms moving into the Chattanooga area on Monday could bring the possibility of tornadoes and large hail. The storm will cause temperatures to drop on Tuesday and Wednesday into the 30s. Here is the special weather statement: THUNDERSTORMS EXPECTED LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING ACROSS THE PLATEAU, PARTS ... (click for more)

North Carolina Corporation Resubmits Rezoning Request For 38,000-Square-Foot Grocery Store On Signal

Undeterred by the standing-room-only crowds who turned out last year to oppose its proposal to build a 38,000-square-foot supermarket directly across Taft Highway from Signal’s longtime hometown grocery, a North Carolina-based corporation has resubmitted its rezoning request.   This time around, however, the Keith Corp. (TKC) isn’t asking that the entire 8.25 ... (click for more)

Remember The Full Story Of Toys-R-Us - And Response

It is always disappointing when any business is forced to close because of competition. Big box stores do this to smaller retailers every day. And while Toys-R-Us seemed to be an unstoppable force, they have finally succumbed to online ordering and simplicity.  But if you think about it, when Toys-R-Us came into existence, imagine the number of “mom ‘n pop” toy stores that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Very Stupid Letter

Not a one of you has ever heard of a lady named Megan Jones Bell.   But, because our state legislature is determined to allow California’s unique brand of crazies to pull Tennessee down to its loathsome level, our state lawmakers probably never will. Megan is a paragon in the field of mental health strategy – i.e., ‘What's the smartest thing for state government to do right ... (click for more)