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Mayor Celebrates Groundbreaking for New Public Health Center

6/6/2012

Modern Facility to Open in Late 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean today celebrated the groundbreaking of the new Lentz Public Health Center, which will be constructed at the corner of 26th Avenue North and Charlotte Avenue through an agreement with Nashville-based HCA.

Under the agreement, HCA will develop a new main public health facility for Metro on HCA property on Charlotte Avenue, and the city will give HCA ownership of Metro’s current Lentz Public Health Center property, which is located at 311 23rd Avenue North. The new facility is scheduled to open in late 2013.

“Our work with HCA on this project is a public-private partnership that gives TriStar Centennial Medical Center flexibility to grow to meet its future needs and our residents the kind of modern public health center they deserve,” Dean said. “Not only will our new health center continue to be a central location for critical services like immunizations, but it will also include a community kitchen where families can learn healthy ways to cook.”

The three-story, 106,800-square-foot building will serve both as a clinic and administrative office for the Metro Public Health Department, just as the current facility does. It is being built with environmental features to attain LEED Silver Certification, including energy-efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting for irrigation and public transportation access.

In addition to including a demonstration kitchen where residents can attend nutrition classes, the new facility will include a 2,300-square-foot multipurpose room available for community use.

As part of the agreement, HCA will construct the new public health center at a cost not to exceed $28.5 million. HCA will finance the project during construction and supervise the construction process. Metro will continue to operate its public health operations out of the current Lentz center until construction is completed.

“We are so pleased to play a role in providing Metro and the people of Nashville a new, state-of-the-art public health facility,” said Steve Corbeil, president of HCA’s TriStar Health. “HCA has a long history of managing major construction projects of hospitals and health facilities. We are pleased to share this expertise with Metro to help meet the health needs of the communities we serve.”

The new building on Charlotte Avenue will be located just two blocks from the 28th Avenue Connector, a new road under construction to connect 28th Avenue in North Nashville to West End. Both the new Lentz building and 28th Avenue Connector are expected to help revitalize Charlotte Avenue and generate new economic development opportunities.

The current Lentz Public Health Center was built in 1958 and was expanded in 1978. It has never been renovated to meet the modern needs of providing public health services. It was named after Dr. John J. Lentz, who served as health director in Nashville and Davidson County from 1920 to 1964.

“Over 50 years ago, Dr. Lentz said that public health programs need to change, adapt and anticipate the needs of the community,” said Dr. Bill Paul, Metro’s Director of Health. “Today, the health department continues that legacy. We provide a wide range of services to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in Nashville, and we continue to adapt and look forward. This new building will support our health department for decades to come as a vital community resource and a change agent for a healthier Nashville.”

Public health services offered at the new center will include immunizations for children and adults; nutrition services for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program; family planning services; a children’s dental health clinic; and birth and death certificate services. It will also house the Food Protection Services program, which conducts restaurant and grocery store inspections, along with a Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic and a Tuberculosis Clinic.