Amy Pitts, director of the emergency department at Spalding RegionalHospital, cuts the ribbon during a ceremony Thursday at the hospitalthat celebrated the expansion of the department. The expandedemergency department will be open for patients on Jan. 2.
About 11 months after breaking ground on the expansion of its emergency department, Spalding Regional Hospital held a ribbon-cutting Thursday in front of the department’s lobby on Graefe Street. “I’m happy to report that we’ve been on budget and on time for this project,” said Spalding Regional Hospital CEO John Quinn, adding that the department will be open for patients on Jan. 2, 2013.Spalding Regional Hospital has seen continuous growth in the number of people coming to theemergency department for medical treatment, currently about 53,000 patients per year, Quinnsaid. To accommodate this trend, Spalding Regional has almost doubled the size of its emergency department — from about 12,000 square-feet to about 20,000 square-feet — and expanded the number of rooms to 37. The total cost of the expansion was about $7 million.“I want to commend the team here for doing the right thing and doing it the right way,” saidTenet Healthcare Senior Vice President John Holland. “It’s not just an investment in the hospital. (The expansion is) a direct investment in this community.”Griffin Board of Commissioners Vice Chairwoman Joanne Todd — who spoke to the audiencealongside SRH Board Chairman Jim Ogletree, SRH Chief of Staff Dr. Philip Osehobo andSpalding County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Chipper Gardner - praised theexpansion of the emergency department as an asset to the community. “When people are searching for a place to live, a hospital is a primary concern,” she said, adding that there’s peace of mind among local citizens knowing that Spalding Regional serves them. Todd then pointed out the revised logo for the city of Griffin, Growing Together, and stated that Spalding Regional Hospital leads by example. “You beat us to the punch,” she said. “You are constantly showing us how to do it. ”In addition to the expansion of its emergency department, Spalding Regional also invested about $300,000 in two new ambulances, Quinn said. As with any other of the hospital’s ambulances, the new additions are equipped with the latest technology, which, for example, make it possible to send EKGs from the ambulance to the smart phone of a cardiologist. The two new ambulances are dedicated to the two local U.S. soldiers who were killed in combat in the recent past — Lance Cpl. Christopher Blake Rodgers and Spc. Johnathon F. Davis. Each ambulance carries the name of one of them on its back door. “This is just a small way of honoring them,” said Quinn.
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