NGHS Plans to Add New Tower, Expand Clinical Services, Enhance Care at NGMC Gainesville

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) plans to grow its hospital in Gainesville to meet the growing needs of the surrounding region by adding a new, multi-story tower as early as 2024. This future tower is part of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Gainesville’s continued evolution into one of the state’s largest and most advanced community-based, non-profit hospitals.

The tower, which will be located next to the existing North Patient Tower, will pave the way for several anticipated improvements including:

  • Moving the existing Emergency Department – among the busiest in the state – to the ground floor of the new tower and expanding the department to care for more people quickly and efficiently
  • Providing expanded and convenient access for advanced heart care including general and interventional cardiology, heart failure treatment, electrophysiology, structural heart program, cardiovascular surgery and more
  • Creating a new helipad on the roof of the tower, which will mean faster and more efficient access to support life-saving trauma, heart, stroke and surgical care
  • Adding more operating rooms to expand available surgeries and procedures to treat complex stroke, neurosurgery, cancer and vascular cases
  • Adding more than 150 new beds for inpatient care
  • Adding a parking deck with hundreds of new parking spaces for patients and visitors
  • Adding the ability to care for more patients while also creating an opportunity for future renovation of the South Tower

Timelines may shift depending on potential changes in the overall healthcare needs of the community. Between 700 – 2,000 workers are expected to be on-site for planning and construction at any given time as the project progresses.

“We’ve started referring to our future expansion and improvement projects as ‘Growing the Greater Good,’” says Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System. “That phrase is a reminder that when we grow facilities to care for more patients and expand our clinical services, we’re ultimately reinvesting in the overall health of our region.

“Any time we add a new building, it’s a new place where we are helping people in many ways – whether it’s providing a new service, creating new jobs or simply lifting the spirits of a community. These projects go way beyond brick and mortar.”

NGMC Gainesville’s Emergency Department is routinely among the busiest in the state. Moving the department to the future tower will create a more efficient space to help meet the growing need for emergency and trauma care in the community. The expanded space will also support training needs for an Emergency Medicine physician residency program, which NGMC hopes to add in the coming year – as it continues to empower the physician leaders of tomorrow.

While planning for the future tower is underway, other improvement projects will continue.

“We have a team that’s evaluating ways to improve how we move patients through the hospital more efficiently, while maintaining high-quality care that will get them back home to their loved ones as quickly as possible,” says Michael Covert, NGHS chief operating officer. “That includes reducing wait times in all parts of a patient’s journey, often starting with the Emergency Department.”