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New urgent care center opens in Braselton
Jeff Barrett, right, manager of the new Urgent Care Braselton, gives a tour of the new facility to Philip Parker, background right, and his wife Diane Parker, background center. Nurse Jaime Majors is assisting with the tour. - photo by Tom Reed

BRASELTON — Urgent Care Braselton is now open for patients.

The center’s staff and community members gathered Monday to celebrate the center’s opening.

Jim Gardner, president and CEO of Northeast Georgia Health System, called the opening a "historic beginning for Northeast Georgia Health System."

Located at 5875 Thompson Mill Road in Medical Plaza 1 at River Place, Urgent Care Braselton marks the first phase in Northeast Georgia Health System’s plans to build a full-service hospital in Braselton. Known as River Place, the 119-acre medical community will serve Hall, Gwinnett, Jackson and Barrow counties.

According to Gardner, 2009 will be spent planning for Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s Braselton campus, and construction will start in 2010. The hospital is slated to open in 2012.

Urgent Care Braselton will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week and provide services for nonthreatening illnesses or injuries.

John Lewellen said emergency room physicians from Northeast Georgia Medical Center will staff the center.

"I’d like to think the quality of the docs that we have got down here is going to make the difference," he said. "We’ve seen a big commitment from the hospital providing good, qualified staffing and making sure it’s adequately staffed and equipped."

Lewellen is the medical director of Gainesville Emergency Department Services.

Katrina Bailey, operations manager with physician services, added that there will be a physician, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, radiology technologist, manager and two registrars on duty at all times.

In addition, patients won’t need to make appointments to visit the center.

"Anybody can walk in from a laceration to a sore throat to an earache to cough congestion, anything," Bailey said.

Lewellen added: "This is an unscheduled, walk-in clinic for minor emergency illnesses and injuries." And even though individuals suffering from more severe maladies, such as a heart attack or stroke, are encouraged to go to the hospital, Lewellen said the center also can address these illnesses.

"If you should happen to walk in with your indigestion and it’s a heart attack, you’ve got a doctor who’s experienced to recognize it and treat it and stabilize it," Lewellen said. "It’s nice to have someone who’s experienced that can take care of it and then stabilize you and do whatever we need to do."

The plans for building both the urgent care center and future hospital started almost 20 years ago, according to Lewellen.

"They (Northeast Georgia Medical Center) basically realized that there is a huge growing portion of Hall County in this corner that is not really served by our medical community," he said. "It’s a long way to the hospital in Gainesville, and it’s a long way to other hospitals. We’ve realized for a long time that South Hall needed more resources, and we needed a presence down here."

In addition to urgent care, at least 10 other doctor’s offices will be in Medical Plaza 1.

The HealthLink Lab already is open, and other offices that soon will open include The Braselton Clinic and Advantage Sports Medicine; both are currently at 5737 Thompson Mill Road. The Braselton Clinic will open at its new location in October and Advantage Sports Medicine in November.

The Rehabilitation Institute, which provides outpatient physical therapy services for those recovering from surgery or injury, also will open in November. An imaging center is planned to open in February.

web refer: For more information on the River Place development, visit