Baptist Hospital Signs Already Coming Down

Most of Baptist's large buildings have signage on four sides. The biggest letters are 12 feet tall. Saint Thomas CEO Michael Schatzlein says he hopes to auction them off to raise money for the hospital's NICU. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

Most of Baptist’s large buildings have signage on four sides. The biggest letters are 12 feet tall. Saint Thomas CEO Michael Schatzlein says he hopes to auction them off to raise money for the hospital’s NICU. Credit: Blake Farmer / WPLN

With the name-change official, cranes are already dismantling the giant letters spelling out “Baptist.” Middle Tennessee’s largest hospital is adopting the Saint Thomas name 12 years after merging. 

The rebranding effort means every facility gets a new name. The original will be Saint Thomas West. Baptist becomes Saint Thomas Midtown. Murfreesboro’s Middle Tennessee Medical Center is now Saint Thomas Rutherford, and Hickman Community Hospital is Saint Thomas Hickman.

CEO Michael Schatzlein says surveys were finding half of respondents didn’t know Saint Thomas owned more than one hospital.

“We’re confusing the public with these different names. And our job is to serve the public, not confuse them.”

However, the confusion is just beginning for patients like Pamela Bennett of Nashville. Her offspring were some of the 7,000 babies delivered at Baptist every year. She says it’s unlikely she’ll use the new name.

“No, I’ll probably continue to call it Baptist Hospital. They can call it something else, but my daughter was born here. Our grandson was born here. Me personally, I love Baptist.”

This isn’t the hospital’s first renaming, though. It began in 1919 as Protestant Hospital.

Saint Thomas officials say they don’t know how much it will cost to change the names for all of their facilities, but there’s a lot of updating to do, including Baptist’s sports affiliations. For instance, the Titans’ practice facility will be dubbed Saint Thomas Sports Park.

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