SGMC opens new Emergency Department - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SGMC opens new Emergency Department

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August 27, 2007

Valdosta -  South Georgia Medical Center opened their new Emergency Department Monday.

Doctors say the old ER was outgrown years ago and the new department is designed with growth in mind.  And they hope it will help improve health care in Lowndes County.  "Our hope is that we will be able to triage and get people into the system faster, treat them and get them home faster," says Dr. Howard Jones, Director of Emergency Medicine at SGMC.

The new 18 million dollar ED features some of the most state of the art rooms and technology in the region.  "We have skytron. All your patients equipment will be located on here so we don't have cords that go into the walls and they go 360 degrees around the patient," says Michelle Burkett, ER Nurse Educator.

With over 40 beds, its four times larger than the old department. Meaning patients will finally have more privacy.  "For the first time, I'll have enough space to treat people and not have people in the hallways. There's just an issue with privacy and respect," Jones adds.

And it was built with the growing community in mind.  "We anticipate that we'll see 60 thousand patients a year here within five years. Right now we are seeing about 45 thousand. So, we have built for the growth for the next 10 to 15 years," says James McGahee, CEO at SGMC.

They'll start seeing patients Tuesday morning.

The hospital will now begin renovation of the old ER to house a better chest pain department and observation units. They will also be constructing a new heart center, ambulatory surgery center and parking deck over the next four years.

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