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Posted: Thursday, March 20th 2014 at 11:41am

Braselton hospital update given to S. Hall biz leaders

By Marc Eggers Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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BRASELTON – Now that the new section of Ga.347 has been opened, south Hall motorists have a much clearer view of the construction work underway at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton. So what is its status?

That question and several others were addressed Thursday morning at the South Hall Business Coalition breakfast. The Coalition is a branch of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce.

Anthony Williamson, Vice President, Greater Braselton Development, Northeast Georgia Health System, held the attention of the crowded room at the Houndstooth Grill, saying that despite the challenging winter weather the project is proceeding as planned.

“We are on schedule to have the hospital construction completed in February of (20)15,” Williamson said.

“We're projecting to open the hospital in May of (20)15,” Williamson added, explaining that a couple of months would be needed to orientate staff, get equipment and supplies in place and to run practice scenarios and exercises.

When opened the 100-bed certified hospital will have four nursing units, a 12-bed ICU, 17 bays in the Emergency Room and seven operating rooms. And that will require staffing, lots of staffing.

“We're projecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 positions that we will be hiring down here,” Williamson said.

“Our preference at first, of course, is going to be to offer the jobs internally. We have over 5,000 employees that work for the Health System now...so we will be working internally...identifying who is interested in transferring down here,” Williamson explained.

“Probably somewhere around fifty percent, I'm estimating, maybe a little more, sixty percent - it's kind of hard to guess – will be internal transfers. But that means we've got to backfill all of those folks in Gainesville.”

That kind of news made it easy to tell who in the room was a member of the Chamber of Commerce or who were elected officials: their huge smiles were obvious, reflecting the good economic news any area hungers to hear as they deal with years of sluggish economy and job scarcity.

“We're looking at about a 120 RNs (Registered Nurses); about 30-40 techs, x-ray techs, ultrasound techs, pharmacy.” Williamson then counseled, “If you know young folks that are trying to make those decisions about what they want to study...those are the folks that will be in high demand.”

Williamson advised interested individuals that they should begin their investigation of employment possibilities at the NGHS website (Click here).

Williamson pointed out that the existing Medical Plaza1 Urgent Care center would be kept open once the hospital is fully operational. “We really hope that the community will come to the Urgent Care facility for those things that are more urgent care (in nature).”

Williamson proudly highlighted the “green” aspects of the new hospital, saying that 92-percent of the construction waste generated at the site has been recycled. “That equates to 2.3 million pounds that we’ve diverted from landfills.”

And the hospital will offer “solar-powered electric-car charging stations”.

“All of that leading to a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, seeking Gold-Level…focusing on sustainability…possibly the first hospital in the nation to receive Gold-Level LEED certification for a health care facility,” Williamson said.

“And, (there is) a lot of focus on trying to keep as much of this economic impact local as possible. If you go down the road here there is a Sherwin-Williams store. All of our paint for this project is coming from that store.”

“That’s about as local as we can get,” Williamson said.

Everyone in the room chuckled. “That took a little effort; that doesn’t happen on its own. I’m pretty proud of that fact.”

Associated Categories: Homepage, Business News, Local/State News

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