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Northeast Georgia Health System's Corporate Plaza to serve two hospital campuses
Ribbon cutting Tuesday gives Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce sneak peek inside
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Rhonda Francis, senior project leader, demonstrates Tuesday how to use the Room Wizard at the Northeast Georgia Health Systems Corporate Plaza in Oakwood. Room Wizards allow people to reserve meeting rooms around the Corporate Plaza. - photo by Erin O. Smith

A ribbon cutting Tuesday for Northeast Georgia Health System’s Corporate Plaza gave leaders with the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce the chance to peek inside the new, modern home of more than 350 support services employees.

Located in a refurbished Sam’s Club store in Oakwood, the building got a $14 million renovation last year, converting it into headquarters for NGHS employees who’d been scattered at several locations.

Northeast Georgia Health System President and CEO Carol Burrell said the building, which opened officially in December, provides a convenient central location.

“As we planned for the opening of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton, it became clear that we needed a more central corporate support center to better serve two hospital campuses, as well as our many system facilities throughout the region,” Burrell said.

She added that Oakwood provides “a convenient location between the two campuses, and this particular spot offers close access to the interstate for efficient travel to any of our system locations.”

Elyse Gates, whose division has about 225 people in the Corporate Plaza, says the new arrangement is more efficient for employees.

“Now that we all live in the same place, we’re able to get things done and resolve issues a lot quicker,” said Gates, who is executive director of hospital revenue cycle operations. “It’s easier to connect with each other.”

Gates said she is partial to many things about the Corporate Plaza. Among them: “Room Wizards” at the entrance to conference and meeting rooms — tablet-sized computers mounted
beside doors ­­— which allow those hosting a meeting to reserve the room. Interactive whiteboards let workers record and save the data they’ve written.

Other features include designated phone rooms, where employees can take personal calls that require privacy. Innovative features like movable walls and ceilings within the plaza keep options available for interior reconfiguration.

“Our flexible workflow design makes it possible to add additional work spaces and departments without the need for significant construction or renovation efforts,” Burrell said.

She added that with the building’s capacity for 500 total employees, there is “still space for additional departments that may need to move to this location as well as expansion of existing departments.”

Departments currently housed at Corporate Plaza include Human Resources, Purchasing, Medical Records, Financial Support and Assistance, Recruitment, Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Administration and Graphics.

Baris Savas, a manager in the graphics department, said the new location “has been a big improvement. We’ve got four or five times more space and faster equipment. It’s made a huge difference.”

Other recent areas of growth for NGHS include completion of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton Campus, which opened in April. Located off Ga. 347 in South Hall, the 100-bed hospital offers a broad range of advanced surgical and medical services with a strong emphasis on outpatient surgery as well as emergency services and specialty care in many areas, including cardiology, oncology, orthopedics and neurosciences.

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