More than 1,800 people thronged the new emergency department and expanded surgical services unit at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton on Saturday, being among the first to get a glance at the future of health care in the region.
Visitors began arriving as much as 30 minutes before the open house began at 10 a.m. and many stayed after displays and tours began to wrap up at 2 p.m., trying to take in as much of the new expansion as possible.
Tanner staff offered tours of the hospital’s new, 40-bed emergency department, including the unit’s four new trauma rooms and on-unit diagnostic imaging facilities. Visitors toured several of the hospital’s new surgical suites as well, including the new 900-square-foot hybrid surgical suite.
Many physicians from throughout the health system were on hand to explain the capabilities of the hospital’s new expansion.
In the hybrid operating suite, Glenn Whitney, MD, a board-certified vascular surgeon with Tanner Vascular Surgery, explained the uses and capabilities of the new hybrid surgical suite while Jon Stanford, MD, a board-certified surgeon with Carrollton Surgical Group, helped lead tours of another of the hospital’s new surgical suites.
Megan Grilliot, MD, a gynecologist and obstetrician with West Georgia Obstetrics & Gynecology, helped to showcase the hospital’s new da Vinci Si e HD robotic surgery system, and several physicians from Carrollton Emergency Physicians helped with tours of the new emergency department.
Additional physicians from Tanner Cancer Care, Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic, Tanner Heart & Vascular Specialists and others also were available to answer questions from the public.
A number of community partners also were on hand, including Carrollton Police Department, City of Carrollton Fire Department, West Georgia Ambulance, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and others.
The open house was delayed about five months when a fire suppression line in the new emergency department ruptured in August, just a couple of days before the open house was originally scheduled.
The ruptured line spilled more than 12,000 gallons of water into the new space, leaving water standing two inches deep in places. Extensive repairs were necessary over about 35,000 square feet of space, including replacing flooring, cabinets, doors, patient beds and drywall.
“We are very happy with Saturday’s attendance and it’s been great to see this level of excitement in the community for these new facilities,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “The size of this crowd shows that this is something people have been waiting for and wanting for a while. Now, it’s great that we’ve been able to deliver.”
Those in attendance for Saturday’s event were treated to a wide variety of health education displays and free screenings in addition to being among the first to lay eyes on the community’s newest medical facilities. Coordinators from Get Healthy West Georgia were on hand to conduct weigh-ins for the initiative’s ongoing weight loss challenge, and many registered to win almost 100 free bicycle helmets donated through a grant from the GreyStone Power Foundation.
Many visitors brought books, donated to Tanner Medical Foundation to help kick-off the new Tanner ReadER program, which provides a free new or gently used book to children who visit Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton’s emergency department. And Tanny the Turtle, the Tanner ReadER mascot, met children and mingled with the crowd.
Now, Tanner staff are moving in to thoroughly clean the areas on tour and prepare them for serving patients. The surgical services expansion, which was added in phases, is already open and serving patients, while the emergency department is scheduled to open early on Thursday, Feb. 7.
In the meantime, the hospital’s current 24-hour emergency department will continue to provide emergency medical care.
For more information on the services available through Tanner Health System or to find a physician on Tanner’s medical staff, call 770.214.CARE or visit www.tanner.org.