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Northeast Georgia Health System Blesses the Ground to Commemorate the Beginning of Construction of New Hospital in Braselton

December 10, 2012
HOSCHTON, Ga. – Plans to build a new hospital in Braselton and construction of the facility are moving forward after Governor Nathan Deal, community leaders and representatives of Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) blessed the ground of the future hospital during a ceremony Sunday afternoon.

“The Health System’s heart is truly in the right place for this community and the thousands of patients and families that will walk through the doors of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton,” says Deal.

The Health System is developing Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton on the River Place campus, a 119-acre plot near the intersection of State Route 347 (Thompson Mill Road) and State Route 211 in rapidly growing South Hall County.  The future 100-bed hospital is scheduled to open in Spring 2015, and it will be the state’s first net new hospital – meaning it’s not a replacement or relocation – in more than 20 years.  The River Place campus is already home to a medical office building, Medical Plaza 1, which houses NGHS services – like Urgent Care and an Imaging Center – as well as private physician practices.  A second medical office building will open in early 2015.

NGMC Braselton will bring new medical services – modeled around the programs of excellence NGHS has built at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville – to the Greater Braselton community.  Those services include:
  • Heart & Vascular services
  • Orthopaedics & Neurosciences
  • Cancer treatment
  • Surgery (with a strong focus on outpatient surgery)
  • Emergency services           
“We believe that having access to emergency services, close to home, will be a huge comfort to people in Greater Braselton,” says Carol Burrell, President and CEO of NGHS.  “The need for emergency care has grown in this area for years, and it’s our pleasure to step in, fill that void and become an integral part of the community.”

Governor Deal also announced that NGHS is seeking Gold-level LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)Healthcare Certification for NGMC Braselton.  LEED is an internationally recognized building program that certifies a construction project as being “green,” or using environmentally conscious process and materials, and the new Healthcare Certification was created this year to specifically certify projects related to health care.  There are only 12 projects across the nation currently seeking that distinction and, depending on timing, the NGMC project may be the first in the nation to receive the certification.

“Regardless of whether the project is the first, third or fifth to receive the Gold LEED Healthcare Certification, it’s still a special distinction that reinforces NGHS’ commitment to doing things not only the right way, but in an elite way,” says Anthony Williamson, Vice President of Greater Braselton Development for NGHS.  “We are very conscious and respectful of the history, integrity and beauty of this land – with sustainability and efficiency as top priorities.”

Sunday’s ceremony took place near the actual site of NGMC Braselton, where early construction activities have begun, and a large main tent represented the entrance of the future hospital.  The event included renderings of NGMC Braselton; a video with comments from key contributors across the nation; a farm-to-table reception featuring local produce and ingredients; and a responsive blessing of the grounds, the building and the people led by three local clergy:  Father Eric Hill, of Prince of Peace Catholic Church; Reverend John Batusic, of Chestnut Mountain Presbyterian Church; and Pastor Eric Pirkle, of Central Baptist Church.  Community members were invited to write blessings onto cards which, later in the construction process, will be placed in the earth near the cornerstone of NGMC Braselton.

“Today’s ceremony wasn’t a traditional groundbreaking, like you might attend when a new manufacturing plant opens, because we saw a blessing as more fitting for a hospital – considering the work involves saving lives and making deep, emotional, personal connections,” says Mary Lynn Coyle, NGHS Board Chair.  “My family moved to this area more than 60 years ago because Hall County Hospital was built in Gainesville, and now the construction of NGMC Braselton will draw a new generation of physicians, nurses, staff, volunteers and others to expand the NGHS legacy of exceptional health care into this community.”
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