The History of Highlands Medical Center
Founded in 1929 by Dr. E.B. Clark, Highlands Medical Center has a rich history of serving the community of Sparta and surrounding region. The hospital was originally located in a family home which was purchased by the County Commission. Then in 1958, the County Commission used a Hill-Burton Grant to build a larger more modern hospital on Gracey Street.
The hospital was purchased and operated by HCA from 1972 to 1986. In 1978, HCA built a new facility at the hospital’s current location at 401 Sewell Road in Sparta. Ownership changed in 1986 (National Healthcare Company) then again in 1994 (Community Health Systems).
In February of 2008, a new era began when Capella Healthcare purchased Highlands Medical Center. Shortly thereafter, an innovative partnership with physicians was launched that to this day is credited with the hospital’s success.
The new physician partnership is a win/win for everyone – the community, patients and caregivers. As part-owners of Highlands Medical Center, physicians take a more active role in charting the hospital’s strategic direction, sharing their expertise and experience to improve clinical care, patient experiences, and hospital operations. It’s a natural partnership that unites resources and talents, creating a new unity and sense of teamwork that encourages the entire Highlands Medical Center family. For the people of Sparta and White County, this partnership is a strong foundation for building an even better hospital, one that enables the community to look to the future with greater confidence.
Family Practitioner Alan Drake, M.D., says the partnership his community hospital has with Capella Healthcare is a great example of what can happen when people work together. “In the 26 years I’ve been practicing in the community, ownership of the hospital has changed four times. Capella Healthcare took over during a time of distrust, and – to their credit – were able to come in and work with us to develop a facility the community could feel proud of and safe coming to… where people have the opportunity to get good care locally and not have to travel long distances to get it elsewhere. Once that trust was established, we were able to work together.”
Over the past 18 months, nearly $2 million has been invested in the facility, with the Intensive Care Unit being fully renovated and digital mammography added in 2010.
Now a 60-bed facility, Highlands Medical Center is accredited by the The Joint Commission, a national healthcare accreditation agency and certified by the American Heart Association as a “Get with the Guidelines” hospital. The hospital provides a full range of medical services, including 24-hour Emergency Care, Intensive Care, Medical/Surgical Care, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology, GYN, and a Geriatric Psych Unit. Diagnostic Imaging services include X-ray, CT, Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine. Rehabilitation services include Physical and Occupational Therapy and Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab. Highlands Medical Center remains committed to providing quality, patient-centered care, strong customer service, and wellness activities in the community.