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Front Page - Friday, June 23, 2017

Health care options affect Real Estate values

There are numerous factors that affect quality of life and thus home values in a community, and one of those is the availability of quality health care.

Consider for a moment you are a retiree who is evaluating different areas to spend your “golden years.” Would available health care options be important to you?

What if you are a principal in a company, evaluating different locations to open a branch. Would a variety of health care options be a part of your vetting process?

The answer to both of these would be yes, so this is an important factor to keep in mind as we look at our overall community appeal.

The Greater Chattanooga Area’s health care needs are primarily served by three major health care entities: CHI Memorial, Parkridge Health System and Erlanger Health System. In an effort to educate Realtor members on the services being offered, the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors invited executives from Erlanger to a recent meeting at its Amnicola office.

Jed Mescon, vice president of public relations, marketing and development kicked off the meeting with a number of little-known facts about the system. He advised the group that Erlanger represents the seventh-largest public health system in the nation and, despite its size, is the No. 1 underfunded system in the nation, adding Erlanger will provide $100 million in unreimbursed care this year.

“No one is turned away at Erlanger,” Mescon said, adding Erlanger’s emergency room is the seventh-busiest in the nation.

Next up was Steven Wagner, executive director of development, who discussed a number of current and planned investments the system is making in the fields of heart and lung care.

He highlighted physician recruitment, including Dr. Larry Shears who is ranked No. 2 in the world in robotic cardiothoracic surgery procedures. Erlanger is now ranked as the No. 2 stroke center in the U.S., he said, with a door-to-treatment time of just 19 minutes, a critical measure in stroke care.

The final focus of the meeting was from Bruce Komiske, vice president, new hospital design and construction. Komiske explained the thought process and unique features of the new Children’s hospital, which had just broken ground the day before.

He said $32 million of the needed $40 million had been raised for first phase of the hospital, so construction was beginning. The new facility will provide state-of-the-art care in modern surroundings vs. the decades-old building being used now.

This represents the first of several major facility investments on the campus, he added, and presented drawings of what the community could expect in coming years.

Realtor members left with these and many more talking points about the availability of health care in the region so they can properly “sell” the advantages of relocating to our community.

Erlanger is still accepting donations for the Children’s Hospital at www.believe.build.

The Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS is The Voice of Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga. The Association is a regional organization with more than 1,700 members and is one of more than 1,400 local boards and associations of Realtors nationwide that comprise the National Association of Realtors.

 GCAR services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee, and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. Go to www.GCAR.net for more information