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Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton to open April 1
New South Hall hospital to welcome patients
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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

It’s official: Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton will be open for business April 1.

Northeast Georgia Health System officials long had projected the hospital off Ga. 347 in South Hall to open by that date, but there wasn’t certainty until now.

“After all the years of planning, developing and building, we are very pleased to be at this point of being able to begin serving our community,” said Anthony Williamson, the new hospital’s president.

The 100-bed hospital will offer 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.

“Doctors, nurses, clinical staff and community members all participated in the process of designing our beautiful new hospital and creating a health care experience that will be patient- and family-focused,” Williamson said.

The hospital, which is near Ga. 211/Old Winder Highway, plans to open its doors 2-5 p.m. Sunday for tours and up-close looks of various areas, including patient areas, operating rooms, the imaging suite and the hospital’s eatery, Café 1400.

“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 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.

To prepare for the opening, staff members have been 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.”