October 25, 2014

Open House for Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton Expansion is Jan. 26

(Carrollton, GA) – After almost five months of delays, the public is finally going to get a first look at the new emergency department and surgical services unit at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton.

The public will be invited to tour the new expansion on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking is available in the Clinic Avenue Parking Deck on campus, adjacent to the new emergency department.

Originally scheduled for August, the open house was put off indefinitely when a fire suppression line in the newly constructed emergency department ruptured, releasing about 12,000 gallons of water into the new unit.

The ruptured line left two inches of standing water in the new emergency department and damaged drywall, doors, cabinets and more throughout the space which had not yet begun to serve patients.

During the renovation, about 70 cabinets, 110 doors and about 35,000 square feet of flooring were replaced. The entire 35,000-square-foot space also received a fresh coat of paint since much of the drywall in that area was replaced after being damaged by the water.

Most of the clinical equipment was spared from damage—including the new on-unit diagnostic imaging equipment, such as the digital X-ray, CT and ultrasound equipment. However, all the beds in the new 40-bed emergency department had to be replaced since exposure to water voided their warranties. Some computer equipment also had to be replaced.

“We’re very excited that we will soon be able to make this new space available to our patients,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “All of us are touched by the need for emergency care at some point in our lives, if not for ourselves then for someone we know. This new unit features the latest design and state-of-the-art features that will allow us to make emergency care accessible for residents in our region for generations to come.

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“We’re also very excited to showcase our new surgical services expansion,” Howard continued. “Our region’s growing population and our growing medical staff will be well-served by these additional operating suites, specially outfitted to enable physicians to provide the most advanced minimally invasive surgical procedures available.”

Among the areas on tour will be the hospital’s new, 40-bed emergency department—including several state-of-the-art trauma rooms and new on-unit diagnostic imaging capabilities, such as CT scanners, digital X-ray rooms and ultrasound—as well as vast new public spaces. Also on tour will be the hospital’s expanded surgical services unit, with several new operating suites and a new, $2 million, 900-square-foot hybrid operating suite for vascular surgery and other procedures.

Visitors can also view the new, 1,100-gallon freshwater fish and turtle habitat that has been reinstalled as part of the expansion’s renovation. The new atrium along Clinic Avenue, the new Lamplighter gift shop location and Bistro ’49 also will be on display.

Visitors to the public open house are encouraged to bring a new or gently used children’s book to help kick-off Tanner’s new ReadER program. Through the Tanner ReadER program, these children’s books will be provided to local children receiving emergency care, giving parents an opportunity to share an escape into a story with their children, away from the trauma or illness that made the visit necessary. Visitors who bring a book to the program will receive a complementary gift from Tanner.

The region’s growing population, as well as Tanner’s growing medical staff, has made expansion necessary to enable Tanner to continue serving the healthcare needs of the community. The last major expansion to the Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton emergency department was in the 1980s; Carroll County’s population grew 96 percent between the 1980 Census and the 2010 Census.

A new emergency department opened with the construction of the new Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica and an expanded, renovated emergency department opened at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen since the last major emergency department expansion in Carrollton.

Tanner serves more than 100,000 emergency department (ED) patients each year, and about half come through the ED at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton.

More work will remain following the Jan. 26 public open house, including more final cleaning and installing some clinical equipment before the space will be ready to serve patients. The hospital’s current emergency department, which has served patients throughout the renovation, will continue to provide 24-hour emergency care until the new unit is ready to serve patients. Tanner leadership estimates the work should take a few weeks.

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