To characterize the molecular epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREF) in Tennessee, VREF isolates that were recovered from patients during a 3-year period at a tertiary care center and throughout the state were typed by means of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients colonized or infected with different strain types were also examined. A total of 34 different strain types were identified. A single VREF strain (type O) predominated (63 [61%] of 103 single-patient isolates (i.e., 1 isolate per patient) obtained from 7 different health care institutions). There were no significant differences between patients harboring type O strains and those harboring non-type O strains (P> or =.05). The rate of recovery of type O subtypes and strains other than type O increased over the 3-year study period. Establishment of VREF endemicity was initially characterized by clonal spread of type O strains. Subsequently, polyclonal dissemination may have been due to microevolutionary changes among type O strains.