August 17, 2017

"Business as usual" for Vanderbilt University Medical Center during solar eclipse

Darkness at midday will come to VUMC on Monday.

Darkness at midday will come to VUMC on Monday.

Next Monday, Aug. 21, at approximately 1:30 p.m. darkness will replace daylight in Nashville as a total solar eclipse of the sun occurs. The total eclipse is expected to last less than three minutes.

While schools located in Metro Nashville and surrounding counties will be closed for the day, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will remain open and operating in a business-as-usual manner.

As the region’s only 24/7 resource for services such as Level I trauma care, a Regional Burn Center, a comprehensive Transplant Center offering all solid organ transplants, Level IV neonatal intensive care, and many other unique adult and pediatric specialty services, the Medical Center must remain open and fully operational to care for patients.

 “There are some unknowns associated with such a unique event, such as whether patients may suddenly cancel elective clinic appointments or whether there will be potential traffic issues with additional people visiting Middle Tennessee, but we need to continue to operate our hospitals and clinics in the usual manner to best serve our patients,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.

While areas such as the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, Emergency Department, and Parking and Transportation Services may make temporary adjustments to their routines to prepare or deal with potential situations arising from the eclipse, the Medical Center is not sponsoring or supporting any special events on Monday.

Employees are not ordinarily allowed on the rooftops of Medical Center facilities. For the eclipse, employees should refrain from seeking access to rooftops, including those of parking garages, during the eclipse.

“I want to thank everyone in advance for their ongoing commitment to place our patients and their families first,” Pinson said.