SGMC Berrien Campus to build $15 million expansion
NASHVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - There’s big news for residents in South Georgia. A major expansion is coming to one hospital in Berrien County.
South Georgia Medical Center’s Berrien Campus broke ground on a $15 million emergency department expansion. That’ll provide the department with an additional 26,000 sq. ft.
“South Georgia Medical Center’s Berrien Campus has been here since 1965 with very little updates to it over the years,” Hayden Hancock, Nashville’s city manager, said. “Rural hospitals are something that are going away and vanishing. And it’s absolutely necessary to have these rural hospitals. Not only for the care that we need for our citizens but also for our economic development and sustainability in our towns.”
This new emergency department will expand into a two-story department equipped with the latest monitoring systems. It will feature nine emergency department rooms, larger trauma and facility care patient rooms, and enhanced clinical care.
“We’ve been working out of a small four-bedroom ER for several years. The volume of patients has increased dramatically,” Dr. William Nash, chief of staff for SGMC’s Berrien Campus, said. “Just a need for more space to get people in and out quicker. And of course, the new equipment to be able to provide more up-to-date care.”
South Georgia leaders spoke at the groundbreaking thanking everyone who played a role in this expansion. Including the Georgia Rural Tax Credit.
“Georgia Rural Tax Credit is something that we absolutely need. It’s something that businesses and individuals can contribute to,” Hancock said. “It’s directly donated almost $5 million to our expansion project today. It helps rural hospitals in our community sustain, and to grow.”
SGMC leaders say this expansion is expected to take around 14 months.
Having a hospital in a rural area makes the difference between life and death for people in rural communities.
“I think it’s extremely important that we get an updated hospital in our community,” Carol Lovein, a resident in the community, said. “We have a very interested community that are interested in this hospital and want to see it grow. It’s crucial for our people who need emergency care.”
SGMC’s Berrien Campus says they see about 600-700 patients a month. They say that’s patients that would possibly not have received needed care if the Berrien Campus wasn’t there.
“We are almost 30 miles away from our nearest hospital which would be our sister hospital, South Georgia Medical Center. So, to have that gap and response time, it’s absolutely imperative that we have a hospital here and local that can serve us,” Hancock said.
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