Phoebe gives OK for construction of major projects

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Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 3:46 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A slew of major projects for Phoebe Putney Health System was given the go-ahead on Wednesday.

The Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital board of directors approved a $140 million plan for new construction projects. These include a new emergency and trauma center, a new NICU and a new ICU.

Phoebe officials said they will now be able to apply for certificates of need for the projects.

Officials said most of the money for the project will come from Phoebe’s hospital investment fund and that funding will also be supplemented by philanthropic donations.

| MORE: Phoebe takes first step in major construction projects

“These projects will transform the delivery of emergency services in southwest Georgia by creating the largest and most advanced emergency and trauma center in the region,” said Joe Austin, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO. “It will also dramatically expand our NICU space and allow us to remain on the cutting-edge of care for our tiniest patients, and it will provide us with additional intensive care rooms and more efficient and modern space for our critical care teams.”

The hospital system is planning to apply for the certificates in the spring.

Phoebe officials said they also hope to begin construction on the new tower that will connect to the current ER later in the year and hope to have it finished by 2025. Phoebe also plans to ask for permission to expand its NICU to around 50 beds. Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital is licensed for 27 beds but averages 40 NICU patients daily.

“Here at the hospital alone we think probably a 125 to 150 jobs will be provided because of what we are adding to the facility. you know we’re doubling the size. It takes additional nurses and technicians to staff that,” said Joe Austin, CEO of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

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The new renovations aren’t the only new thing happening at Phoebe. The national guard is coming to help due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases. . Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital CEO Joe Austin says he’s thankful for the National Guard being deployed to Phoebe once again.

“First of all, I’ve gotta tell the governor thank you. The governor has been so helpful in operationalizing the National Guard. We’ve had National Guard troops here through the first surge and the second. So we’re grateful for that one,” said Austin.

Austin was not only elated to receive help but he also talked about how the Guard would actively assist in the hospital’s day-to-day functioning.

“We’re very careful about when visitors come through. They’ll make sure they are properly masked. And they’ll very likely work with us on some of the logistics on the patient floors,” said Austin.

Phoebe Health System President and CEO Scott Steiner said the National Guard will be helping in many ways. Including in their antibody treatment center.

“The guard will also help in our testing center. For COVID, we’re also looking to use them for our monoclonal treatments at the antibody treatment center,” said Steiner.

In addition to the new job opportunities, Phoebe Putney Memorial is also planning to renovate its existing ICU center.

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