Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists joins Saint Thomas Medical Partners

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left to right: Dr. Mark Manwaring, Dr. Wayne Westmoreland, Dr. Stephen Rich, Dr. Mark Akins, Dr. Ward Houck, Dr. Lindsay Keith

Saint Thomas Health is excited to announce Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists has joined Saint Thomas Medical Partners, effective immediately. Saint Thomas Health is part of Ascension, the world's largest Catholic health system and one of the largest non-profit health systems in the country.

The surgeons of Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists have more than 30 years of experience serving the Rutherford County community and beyond. Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists offers a full range of surgical care, including comprehensive diagnostic and general surgical treatment, as well as bariatric, advanced laparoscopic and minimally invasive breast conserving procedures, colorectal surgical care, and thoracic surgery.

"Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists is a group of respected and dedicated surgeons who have provided quality and compassionate care to the Rutherford County community and beyond for more than three decades, and we are thrilled to enhance our alignment with this physician group," said Gordon Ferguson, President and CEO of Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.

"We are excited to welcome each of these surgeons to our Saint Thomas Medical Partners team," said Yvette Doran, President and CEO of Saint Thomas Medical Partners. "The partnership between Saint Thomas Medical Partners and Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists will enhance continuity of care for those we serve."

Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists joining Saint Thomas Medical Partners include:

• Dr. Wayne Westmoreland, MD, FACS, FABS - General and Bariatric Surgery: Dr. Westmoreland is board certified in general surgery. Dr. Westmoreland has a special interest in advanced laparoscopic surgery, especially anti-reflux procedures, hiatal hernia repair as well as laparoscopic gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy. He is passionate about gallbladder and hernia repairs after 34 years of private practice. Dr. Westmoreland began the bariatric surgery program at Saint Thomas Rutherford, which strives to help people lose the weight and medical co-morbidities that decrease the quality and length of the patient's life. He and his wife Diane have three adult children. When he is not in the office, Dr. Westmoreland enjoys hunting and fishing and thanks God for the ability and opportunity to do what he loves to do.

• Dr. Ward Houck, MD, FACS - Thoracic Surgery: Dr. Houck is board-certified in thoracic and general surgery. Dr. Houck has special interests in minimally invasive treatment of lung cancer and treatment of both malignant and benign disease of the esophagus and foregut. He also has a special interest in caring for patients with tracheal, mediastinal and pleural-based disease. When he is not in the office, he enjoys any activity that involve his children.

• Dr. Lindsay Keith, MD - Breast Oncology Surgery & General Surgery: Dr. Keith is board certified in general surgery. Dr. Keith strives to educate and empower patients about their disease and guide them through their journey from diagnosis and treatment to survivorship. She has a special interest in benign breast diseases, breast cancer, high-risk breast cancer screening and survivorship care after treatment for breast cancer. When she is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her horse, boating, running and playing violin.

• Dr. Mark Akins, MD, FACS - General & Breast Surgery: Dr. Akins is board certified in General Surgery and has practiced in Murfreesboro since 1995. Dr. Akins has a wide range of surgical interest and expertise including breast cancer, minimally invasive (laparoscopic) treatment of benign and malignant diseases of the colon, minimally invasive hernia repair, laparoscopic gallbladder removal and thyroid surgery. He utilizes the da Vinci robotic system for selective procedures when it offers an advantage over laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Akins realizes surgery is a major event in his patient's lives and makes every effort to explain surgical procedures in familiar terms and answer all questions so patients and family members will be at ease. Dr. Akins is married and has four children. His wife Leslie is a nurse practitioner and cofounded the Hope Clinic in Murfreesboro in 1996. Outside of the office, he enjoys golf, reading, gardening and spending time with his family and friends.

• Dr. Mark Manwaring, MD, FACS, FASCRS - Colorectal Surgery: Dr. Manwaring is board certified in colon and rectal surgery and general surgery. Dr. Manwaring strives to provide compassionate, patient-centered care using the latest surgical techniques including robotic, laparoscopic and transanal surgery. He has a special interest in treating patients with colon and rectal cancer, Diverticulitis, Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, anorectal diseases, such as hemorrhoids, fistulas and fissures, rectal prolapse, stomas and related problems. When he is not in the office, he enjoys hiking and outdoor activities and spending time with his family and friends.

• Dr. Stephen Rich, MD, JD, FACS - General & Bariatric Surgery: Dr. Rich is board certified in general surgery. Dr. Rich strives to provide support for those stricken with obesity and giving his patients an opportunity to put the disease in remission, improve their health and obtain a new lease on life. He has a special interest in treating individuals who are suffering from the disease of obesity. When he is not in the office, he enjoys spending time with family.

Murfreesboro Surgical Specialists is located at 1800 Medical Center Parkway, Suite 440, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

For more information, please visit


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Dr. Lindsay Keith, Dr. Mark Akins, Dr. Mark Manwaring, Dr. Stephen Rich, Dr. Ward Houck, Dr. Wayne Westmoreland, Murfreesboro, Saint Thomas Health, Specialists, Surgical
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