Henry County

Groundbreaking held for expansion of new hospital in Henry County

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — The largest hospital expansion in years could eventually bring new access to healthcare to hundreds of thousands of people in metro Atlanta.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones was there as Piedmont Henry Hospital in Stockbridge broke ground on a new $212 million tower.

With hospitals closing in Atlanta, like Atlanta Medical Center, hospitals like Grady Memorial Hospital saw an overflow of patients.

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So did Piedmont Henry Hospital.

Piedmont Henry is also experiencing explosive growth in and around Henry County.

It’s why hospital leaders say the expansion project is so important and is an investment in the community.

Dale Rice knows exactly how important having a hospital nearby is.

“The pain just got worse and worse,” he told the audience at the groundbreaking ceremony. “My chest is hurting.”

He explained how firefighters told him he was having a heart attack back in March.

They rushed him to Piedmont Henry, where within 35 minutes a doctor put in a stint and he felt better.

“I said, ‘How bad was it? He said, ‘You were completely blocked.’ I said, ‘Doc, thank you for saving my life,’” Rice recalled.

Piedmont Henry hopes to save more lives and provide hospital care for more people on the south side of town with the new tower under construction.

“This tower can’t come fast enough,” Chief Operating Officer James Atkins said.

The area has seen explosive growth.

The hospital says it serves about 700,000 people.

Piedmont Henry often finds its beds filled to capacity.

It’s why executives say this project is so important.

“Adding 96 beds, three more operating rooms is really gonna allow us to continue to serve a growing community,” Chief Operating Officer David Kent said.

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Atkins says its operating rooms are often at capacity. “On average, we have about five level one or two traumas a day that present here.”

He says the new bed space and operating rooms will help.

Rice says it’s important to have a hospital with bed space close by.

“If it wasn’t for Piedmont Hospital, I may not be here talking to you today. That’s how bad it is,” he said.

The hospital expects the new tower to open in two years.

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