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POST OFFICE STATION 17 About the Campus Zip
 Code System

The campus zip code system exists to provide a more efficient and organized framework for the distribution of the Medical Center's mail than could be done using only room numbers and department names. 

To download this document in PDF format, click here.

THE SYSTEM

Each delivery point (anywhere mail is delivered) is assigned a four-digit code.  Although large departments may actually have more than one zip code (Pediatrics!  Whew!), for mail purposes we usually refer to each delivery point as a department.  The first digit of each zip indicates the building where the department is located:

0 - Light Hall 5 - The Vanderbilt Clinic
1 - Medical Arts 6 - Medical Research Buildings (all three)
2 - Medical Center North 7 - Vanderbilt University Hospital
3 - 100 Oaks (used to be Med. Ctr. S.) 8 - Miscellaneous buildings
4 - Oxford House 9 - Children's Hospital

Beyond this first digit, though, the zip is not tied to a physical location (unlike USPS zip codes).  The last three digits are assigned according to a system which:

  • maintains a fixed relation between the mail sorting bins in the Post Office, so we don't have to rearrange every time a move happens;
  • allows a department which moves within the same building to keep its zip code;
  • answers the frequent question, "Why is our neighboring department's zip so different from ours?"

Note, though, that it also means that a department which moves into renovated space can't simply begin using the zip code that used to be there.  The previous tenant has either taken that zip code with them, or else it was retired with honors.  (And its jersey hung from the Post Office rafters.) 

INTERFACING WITH THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE

By agreement with the USPS, we are allowed to place our campus zips on the end of our unique Station 17 zip to form a complete 9-digit zip code:  37232-2635 is the Post Office.  This is true ONLY for those buildings that receive their U.S. mail from Station 17, though!

Departments in buildings served by the U.S. Postal Service will have a complete 9-digit USPS zip code for their street address IN ADDITION to their campus zip, which is used only for campus mail. 

Compare our address in MCN with Patient Accounting's on Blakemore for example:

U.S. Mail Campus Mail

Post Office Station 17

Post Office Station 17
Vanderbilt University Medical Center B-0106 MCN (2635)
B-0106 MCN
Nashville, TN  37232-2635
Occupational Health Occupational Health
1211 21st Ave South, Suite 640 640 Medical Arts Building (1343)
Nashville, TN  37212-2718

Note that although our 4-digit zip is identical on both sides, theirs is different, due to their being in a building served directly by the USPS.  One Hundred Oaks is also a good example.

Proper and consistent use of campus zips can greatly aid in the timeliness and accuracy of your mail service.  We encourage you to use this system on all your stationery and business cards, and to list zip information in all your PeopleFinder entries.

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