SPARTASaint Thomas Health has signed a new contract for emergency room physician staffing at its four Upper Cumberland hospitals.

Saint Thomas inked American Physician Partners, a Brentwood-based an ER/hospitalist management company, for Saint Thomas Stones River, Saint Thomas Highlands, Saint Thomas DeKalb and Saint Thomas River Park.

The changeover at three hospitals occurred March 19. American Physician Partners began its work with Saint Thomas River Park April 19.

“We’re very excited about this new partnership, especially since it’s local to the Middle Tennessee area, which gives us more direct contact with leadership there,” said Andy Wachtel, president and CEO at Saint Thomas Stones River, Saint Thomas Highlands and Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospitals. “Our goal, as always, is to provide great customer service for our patients, and that means demonstrating compassion, respect and courtesy as we deliver the best care in an efficient manner.”

American Physician Partners works with hospitals to deliver a “world class” patient experience. The organization is led by hospital operators and ER/hospitalist physicians; it currently serves four other hospitals in Tennessee, including Blount Memorial Hospital (Hesse Creek), Lincoln County Medical Center, Heritage Medical Center and Laughlin Memorial Hospital in Greeneville, as well as hospitals in Kentucky, Georgia, New Mexico, Alabama and Arkansas.

“We’re looking forward to working with this group,” said Dale Humphrey, president and CEO of Saint Thomas River Park Hospital.  “Our focus is to deliver excellent care in the Emergency Department, which we define as a high quality experience from the reception area until discharge, grounded in care, efficiency and the best possible outcome.”

Saint Thomas Health is part of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system.