BRASELTON - The public will get its first look at the new hospital in South Hall Sunday, March 29.
Hosted by The Medical Center Auxiliary, an Open House Celebration will be held that day at Northeast Georgia Medical Center/Braselton, according to the new hospital's Public Relations Manager, Beth Downs. Downs says they are expecting "thousands of guests" for the three-hour event which will begin at 2:00.
"We will not have a ceremony or speakers," Downs added, "(but we are) setting up areas of the hospital to be open for guests to follow maps and enjoy self-guided tours of the hospital..."
This includes patient rooms, operating rooms, cath lab, imaging, emergency department, Cafe' 1400, The Resource Center, The Education Center, patios and gardens.
"The beautiful, new state-of-the-art facility is really the shining star of the day, and we hope everyone will take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to tour through areas of the hospital that will not be accessible once we open," Downs said.
Hospital officials will also be hosting guided "mechanical tours" for anyone interested in a look at the behind-the-scenes mechanics of running the 100-bed facility. They will occur at 2:30, 3:30, and 4:30.
Downs said Bill Clawson, the hospital's Manager of Plant Operations, will lead guided tours through the mechanical rooms, "highlighting new technologies that allow NGMC Braselton to operate in more efficient and environmentally friendly ways."
"In addition," Downs said, "we'll be giving away free tree seedlings to the first 1,000 guests, hosting a kids craft area to create get-well cards for our patients, hosting a 'Touch and Emergency Vehicle' zone with ambulances, fire trucks, and a helicopter, and providing delicious treats from the popular Cafe' 1400."
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, hundreds of the hospital's employees participated in a "dry run" of sorts, a simulation of an up-and-running hospital, with volunteer "patients," in order to prepare themselves, the systems and the equipment for the hospital's opening. (See accompanying photos.)
"We had more than 300 staff members on site to practice patient scenarios in all departments of the hospital," Downs said. "Technology, equipment, processes and much more were refined and polished as we proceed to prepare for our first patients."
They are expected to begin arriving sometime this spring but an exact date for the hospital's opening has has not been set.
"We will know after our licensure survey, which is taking place next week," Melissa Tymchuk, Director, Public Relations & Marketing, Northeast Georgia Health System, said Wednesday afternoon. The new hospital is a part of the health system.