Nashville Zoo's HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center Awarded Top Honors

Nashville Zoo proudly announces that the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center was awarded Top Honors for the Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) 2023 Facility Award.

Nashville Zoo proudly announces that the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center was awarded Top Honors for the Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA) 2023 Facility Award at the Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio this month.

AZA's Facility Award recognizes excellence in design and construction of a facility that supports the mission by an AZA institution. The award recognizes transformative spaces that do not include an animal exhibition as its primary function. This is the highest achievement award for an AZA-accredited Zoo's facility to receive.

"Winning Top Honors three times including Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear, Tiger Crossroads and now the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center is something we are extremely proud of," said Nashville Zoo's President and CEO Rick Schwartz. "This year's Honors and Award Committee were extremely impressed not only by the expert design of the overall Veterinary Center, but also by the way conservation messaging was integrated into the graphics."

Nashville Zoo's 23,677-square-foot state-of-the-art HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center opened in 2019 and has allowed veterinary and hospital staff to provide expert care to hundreds of species, all while educating guests about animal care, conservation and research. The Veterinary Center features upgraded medical equipment, large and open surgery suites equipped with medical grade surgical lighting, specialized animal nurseries, a radiology suite, hospital laboratory and much more. Guest education is vital to this transformative facility as people are given a glimpse into the incredible care the Zoo's veterinary team provides through a public-facing wall of windows into the surgical suites and animal nurseries. Guests can even take a Backstage Pass tour through the entire Veterinary Center and see the extraordinary care and the operations of the hospital firsthand. The design process of the hospital was guided by three priorities: top-quality veterinary care, the incorporation of radical transparency and supporting the Zoo's conservation work.

In addition to the excellent medical design, the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center is Nashville Zoo's first LEED-Silver Certified building through the use of low VOC building materials, natural lighting, fully automated HVAC and lighting systems, storm water treatment and native plantings.

For more information on the HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center, visit

About Nashville Zoo

Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization celebrating 25 years at Grassmere. The Zoo is an accredited member of the Associations of Zoos and Aquariums, exemplifying the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Nashville Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs, and education initiatives in our backyard as well as around the world. With support from the Nashville community, donors, and sponsors, the Zoo is ranked the number one tourist attraction in Middle Tennessee and welcomes more than one million guests annually. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike just six miles south of downtown. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit