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Pediatric emergency space planned at new NGMC tower will be named for longtime pediatrician
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A new dedicated pediatric emergency space at Northeast Georgia Medical Center's planned new tower will be named in honor of Dr. Buddy Langston, center. With him at a private event March 7, 2022, at Gainesville First United Methodist Church are, from left, Dr. Cory Duncan, emergency medicine medical director NGMC Gainesville; LeTrell Simpson; Evie Langston; Carol Burrell, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System; and Dr. Pepper Brown, Northeast Georgia Health System Foundation board chair. - photo by Northeast Georgia Health System

Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville's new 12-story patient tower will feature pediatric emergency space named after longtime Gainesville pediatrician Dr. William T. “Buddy” Langston.

“We are thrilled to add a much-needed space dedicated to treating pediatric emergency patients — and named for Buddy — in the new patient tower,” said Dr. Pepper Brown, Northeast Georgia Health System Foundation board chairman.

The new space will offer a waiting area, as well as 12 treatment rooms designed with pediatric patient needs.

Also, NGHS has hired pediatric emergency room physician Dr. Hersh Mathur, who is working to put into place new treatment protocols “aligned with those being used in emergency departments of children’s hospitals across the nation,” according to a press release from NGHS Tuesday, March 8.

“Our new pediatric space will be the stepping stone for expanding pediatric emergency care across NGHS, enabling us to treat these patients close to home,” said Dr. Cory Duncan, emergency medicine medical director at NGMC Gainesville.

“We’re not ever going to be a big enough hospital to have a really urgent care type of treatment for children,” said Langston, who retired in 1999. “But we need to be able to support (patients) to the point” until they’re able to get more specialized treatment.

Gainesville City Council voted late last year to approve a 927,500-square-foot expansion of the hospital at 743 Spring St.

The project is expected to be built in two phases between 2022 and 2030. It also calls for moving the emergency room to the ground floor of the tower, according to a city of Gainesville planning document.

Officials have said the expansion could have 120 beds in the first phase and 72 beds in the second phase.

The hospital “will also renovate approximately 10,000 square feet of existing space to connect the new tower to the existing building as well as renovations to surgery suites,” the hospital says in its application for the project.

Also in the plans are a 455-space parking deck, a 340-space expansion of the existing deck and a 40,000-square-foot, 75-foot tall building to support the tower’s energy needs.