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New South Hall hospital plans March 29 open house
Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton staff practicing scenarios
Medical staff members of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton go through a code blue training exercise as the new hospital prepares to open.

New hospital

What: Open house for Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton

When: 2-5 p.m. March 29

Where: 1400 River Place, off Ga. 347, about 1 mile west of Ga. 211

Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton won’t be quite ready for patients, but visitors will be welcome March 29.

The new South Hall hospital off Ga. 347 near Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway plans to open its doors 2-5 p.m. that day for tours and up-close looks of various areas of the 100-bed hospital.

Open-house visitors will be able to see patient areas, operating rooms, the imaging suite and cafe.

“We will show them all the technology — all the things that makes this hospital special,” said Beth Downs, spokeswoman at the Braselton hospital.

Officials said they hope to make the event child-friendly, with opportunities for youngsters to explore emergency vehicles, including a helicopter.

“We will have a station where kids can color get-well cards for our first guests,” Downs said.

Also, the first 1,000 visitors will get free tree seedlings, and refreshments will be available at the hospital’s eatery, Café 1400.

And visitors can go through the attached five-story, 113,000-square-foot Medical Plaza B, which features specialty practices and services and opened in January.

“We wanted to open several new physician offices ... to begin to orient the community and our practices to the new facilities,” hospital President Anthony Williamson has said.

“This will allow our patients and visitors to become familiar with the campus, learn where to park and begin enjoying amenities like the new café.”

Many of the practices that moved to Medical Plaza B came from nearby Medical Plaza 1 or Thompson Mill Medical Offices.

Plaza B and Plaza 1 are on the same 119-acre campus, with plans calling for an eventual Medical Plaza 2. The hospital serves as the campus’ A building, and there are plans for C and D buildings, Downs has said.

“We’re real excited about (the new hospital) because it’s hospital services in an area that really had been somewhat underserved,” said Dr. Casey Graybeal of Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Surgical Associates, one of the new practices in Medical Plaza B.

“If anything, it’s going to be too small, too quick,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a popular destination.”

An opening date hasn’t been set for the hospital, which is part of the Gainesville-based Northeast Georgia Health System, but that doesn’t mean all things are quiet at the building.

Staff members are going through a series of “day in the life” simulated exercises “designed to test our facilities and make sure we know our paths of travel, to let the staff practice typical scenarios on a daily basis,” Downs said.

“We want to know with certainty that everybody knows every situation that’s going to arise and how to react,” she said. “The point is to find things we need to practice or correct before everyone comes when we open.

“It’s a dress rehearsal, in essence.”