Baby Boom

From the Fall 2019 edition of Vanderbilt Medicine Magazine

More women. More babies.

With more people choosing Nashville and its surrounding communities as home, Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has seen a rapid growth in the number of visits for women’s care and babies born at VUMC.

“In 2010, we saw about 50,000 outpatient visits,” said Ronald Alvarez, MD, Betty and Lonnie S. Burnett Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chair of the department. “We’re poised to see 180,000 to 200,000 this year and next.”

And the number of babies has doubled. In 2010 there were 2,000 babies born at VUMC. There have been 4,500 a year over the past couple of years.

At VUMC, the OB triage area is doubling; labor and delivery areas are being refurbished and postpartum beds are increasing.

“There’s been so much growth and we’re still looking to grow,” Alvarez said. “We’ve also increased the number of ambulatory sites and outreach practices at nearby regional hospitals.”

Alvarez also sees VUMC OB/GYN ‘s role to help leverage the need for primary care physicians in a growing community.

“There aren’t enough primary care doctors out there to serve the entire population. Our OB/GYN team can help provide great primary care to the large percentage of young women who transition care from their pediatrician directly to OB/GYN providers during their late teen years,” Alvarez said.

In addition to locations at VUMC, Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks and throughout Nashville, Vanderbilt Women’s Health has practices in Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, Springfield, Franklin, Columbia and Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. More locations are planned.

“Looking ahead, we’re going to continue to monitor Middle Tennessee’s population growth and design a Women’s Health program that meets the needs of women in the communities in which they live and work. It’s a new chapter for women’s health at Vanderbilt,” Alvarez said.

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