On February 3, 2017, local leaders, medical staff and Tanner Health System leadership turned the first shovelfuls of dirt on a massive, $37 million expansion that will include the construction of a new emergency department and surgical services center at the facility.
“This expansion continues our vision to provide leading-edge medical care in Villa Rica,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “At Tanner, we’ve long understood that this area was destined for growth, and we’re committed to ensuring that we’re able to meet the community’s medical needs right here, close to home.”
Opened in 2003, the Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica facility is still a relatively new hospital. But the population of the region the hospital serves has grown, sparking a need for expansion. Latest Census estimates place the city’s population at around 15,000, and growth projects place Villa Rica’s population at more than double that in less than 10 years. And those estimates don’t include the parts of unincorporated Carroll, Douglas and Paulding counties that the hospital serves.
The new emergency department will feature 37 exam rooms — the current facility offers just 16 — including four isolation rooms, six behavioral health rooms, two trauma rooms and three triage rooms. The expansion also will add a second CT scanner and on-unit X-ray services, further enhancing the hospital’s emergency care capabilities.
With a new, state-of-the-art surgical services unit, the hospital will add six new, state-of-the-art operating suites capable of providing more advanced surgical procedures such as total joint replacement. The number of short-stay surgery rooms will more than double to 19, and a new eight-bay post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) will also be added. The expansion also includes the addition of two gastroenterology suites for procedures and screenings. The entire project will include 80,740 square feet of facility space, including the renovation of 3,368 square feet of existing space.
Construction will also add a new central energy plant to the hospital campus to accommodate future facility growth. The expansion was designed by lead architect Paul Reichert, with Peacock Partnership. RA-LIN and Associates will serve as the general contractor.
“Our emergency department provides care for more than 38,000 patient visits a year,” said Bonnie Boles, MD, MBA, administrator of Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica. “And our surgical services center performs more than 3,800 procedures per year. The volume of patients that we serve have grown through the years, and that’s why we’re so excited to have these facilities so we can continue to provide excellent care to more of our neighbors in the years to come.”
As the surgical services unit relocates to the new facility, crews will begin work to expand the hospital’s current maternity center as well, occupying the space left vacant by the former surgical center. The current maternity center at the hospital delivers about 430 babies each year, but the hospital has been working to recruit additional obstetrics and gynecology specialists to its staff and expects that number to grow.
In recent years, the clinical capabilities of Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica have grown as well. In September 2015, interventional cardiology services became available at the hospital, and since then more than 150 hearts have been saved using angioplasty and stenting services in Villa Rica. The hospital also serves as one of Tanner’s two accredited chest pain centers, and is working to achieve certification as a stroke center. The hospital’s other services include critical care services, advanced diagnostic imaging, a Tanner Center for Sleep Disorders location, the Tanner MS Center offering infusion services, and a host of specialist services, ranging from allergies and asthma to general surgery, orthopedics and urology.
The Villa Rica expansion is one of several large-scale construction projects the Carrollton-based health system is currently pursuing. In Bremen, work continues on a new surgical services center, and the health system’s fifth hospital — Tanner Medical Center/East Alabama — is taking shape in Wedowee, Ala. The health system also expects to unveil the final plans for the new Tanner Health Pavilion, a large medical mall that will be built on Dixie Street across from Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton.
And album of photos and a video of the groundbreaking is available on Tanner Health System's Facebook page.