After more than a decade, new Peach hospital to celebrate grand opening Thursday

efarlow@macon.comJune 12, 2013 

BYRON -- A ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for Thursday at The Medical Center of Peach County represents the culmination of more than 10 years of work to provide Peach County with an updated hospital.

The $27 million facility is 15,000 square feet larger than the old Peach Regional Medical Center. The new hospital also has new, state-of-the-art medical equipment such as a 64-slice CT machine.

“What that enables us to do is some of the cardiac CTs that we aren’t able to do now with our existing scanner,” said Nancy Peed, CEO of the hospital.

The media were allowed a sneak peek of the new facility on Wednesday. Patients are scheduled to move on July 16.

Other features of the new medical center include 25 private patient rooms, four of which have intensive care unit capabilities; a helipad for emergency airlifts to and from the hospital; and an operating room with brand new equipment.

“When you get the newest technology, you get the most recent updates and advancements in the science,” Peed said. “For a small hospital to have this type of technology is kind of unheard of.”

Right now, the hospital only has one operating room. However, Peed said there is a storage area with the potential to become a second operating room if the need arises.

There are also plans to expand outside the medical center.

“Our plans have always included a medical office building that would house some full-time and part-time physicians and probably some other services,” said Peed.

Those services will include outpatient physical therapy. Right now, though, the plan is to focus on and complete the medical center.

Until then, outpatient physical therapy will be in an area the medical center hopes will eventually house an MRI machine. If one day the hospital can sustain its own MRI machine, it will send applications to the state to get permission to do so.

Peed said the goal of The Medical Center of Peach County is to be a full service hospital for the Peach County community. The old Peach Regional did not have the ability to provide every service for its patients.

“With our existing hospital they’d come here for certain things, and we’d transfer them,” said Peed.

The medical center also features photos of local landmarks, animals and other subjects taken by community members. A photo contest produced more than 1,200 entries, and 250 photos were selected to be hung in the hallways and rooms of the hospital.

The new medical center and its features came about through a partnership between the Peach County hospital and Central Georgia Health System, which provided the capital to make the new medical center a reality.

“Small hospitals that are alone and by themselves really don’t have that kind of capital,” said Peed. But more than the money, Peed said the partnership was about doing what was right for patients.

“It’s surreal to see the dream really come true,” said Peed. “It’s a new day.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, the public is invited to take a tour of the medical center, located at 1960 Ga. 247 Connector near John E. Sullivan Road. The ceremony starts at 9 a.m.

Other features of the new hospital include: a stress test lab, a sleep study lab, a decontamination room, a chapel with stained glass windows and The Peach Blossom Gift Shop.

To contact writer Emily Farlow, call 744-4225.

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