Construction of SGMC Heart Center ahead of schedule - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Construction of SGMC Heart Center ahead of schedule

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Construction on a $67 million Heart Center and Patient Tower at Valdosta's South Georgia Medical Center is moving along faster than anticipated.

It will house state-of-the-art equipment for cardiac care and private patient rooms. Hospital officials say it will transform medical care in that part of the state.

Driving down Patterson Street you can't miss the construction going on at South Georgia Medical Center. The construction of the 130,000 square foot Heart Center and Patient Tower is already ahead of schedule, it's expected to open next summer.

"It lets the people and citizens of south central Georgia have access to high quality medical care, our employees are excited, our medical staff is excited about the good things that are happening here and how we're able to deliver care and current technologies," said Randy Sauls, SGMC CEO.

The facility will include an all new Dasher Heart Center and Patient Tower with 96 private patient rooms. The expansion includes a larger cardiac, medical and surgical ICU, cath labs, and more cardiac intermediate care unit beds. The Medical Director of the Heart Center says it's crucial to have all heart care under one roof.

"It's not ideal when you have to spread out around the hospital, we'll be able to focus everyone who is trained in the care of cardiac patients in one location as opposed to spread out around the hospital," said Dr. Trey Powell, Heart Center Medical Director.  

This building is the largest expansion in the history of the hospital, right now they've already built four floors and have one more to go.

Sauls says the hospital's growth puts SGMC on the map for advanced cardiovascular care.

"It really does separate Valdosta's South Georgia Medical Center from other medical centers in that we will be on the cutting edge of current technology, anytime you're able to acquire equipment brand new then you have an advantage over other communities," said Sauls.

And all of the beds in the old heart center will be converted into private rooms.

The CEO says the hospital expects to hire more than 50 new employees with the expansion.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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