Metro, Meharry reach agreement on Nashville General Hospital

The Metro Council will have to approve the agreement to move forward.
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Posted at 4:50 PM, Dec 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-09 17:50:54-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Both Metro Nashville and Meharry Medical College reached an agreement on the lease for Nashville General Hospital, the city's safety net medical center.

Back in 2021, NewsChannel 5 Investigates obtained emails showing it was six months behind paying its landlord, Meharry Medical College. Under the new agreement — which lasts until 2027 — Metro Nashville will pay what officials called in a news release "a fair market rent" to Meharry. This will start at $6.3 million this year and increase 2.5% each consecutive year.

The settlement and lease agreement require approval by the Metro Council.

Previously, the city was paying only the underlying bonds issued in 1995 and which were set to expire next year. The agreement also settles all outstanding claims between the two parties. This agreement will not affect the city’s funding of Nashville General Hospital, or the possibility for a new hospital building in the future after the expiration of the current lease.

“This is an important day for Meharry and for our faculty, students and residents,” said Dr. James Hildreth, president of Meharry Medical College. “The city of Nashville has been our home for 146 years, and we are proud to have played a critical part in caring for the community, especially during the pandemic when we tested, treated and vaccinated hundreds of thousands of Nashvillians. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of Mayor Cooper and city leaders to Meharry, and we look forward to working together to create a healthier future for Nashville.”

The agreement also includes the resolution of receivables and other financial issues between the city and Meharry, which first began leasing the buildings on its campus for use as the city’s safety net hospital in the mid-1990s.

“I am proud to renew Nashville’s firm commitment to the nation’s oldest and largest historically black medical institution and to our safety net hospital Nashville General,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Meharry and Nashville General are at the center of our efforts to address health disparities in Nashville, and this new agreement sets the stage for that work to grow stronger in 2023. There is no better example of those efforts than Dr. Hildreth and Meharry’s essential partnership with the city to help lead our response to

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