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Governor Kemp visits Marietta for grand opening of new emergency department

Wellstar Kennestone Hospital’s state-of-the-art emergency department held a ribbon cutting ceremony ahead of next weeks opening.

EAST COBB, Ga. — Thursday marked a new milestone for Wellstar Heath System. Governor Brian Kemp joined Wellstar leaders for the grand opening of the Wellstar Kennestone Hospital Emergency Department, a 263,000-square-foot facility, which has been in the works for many years. Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony comes more than two years after ground was broken for the expansion.

“This is an exciting beginning of bringing this brand new emergency department to expand our ability to meet the community needs for emergency service access when they need it, as well as trauma care access,” Candice Saunders, president and CEO of Wellstar Health System, said. “We began listening and learning from our communities, also working with our caregivers and our physicians as we put together what needed to happen, and then brought in a lot of different members of the team as we designed the facility.”

The facility, which officially opens on July 23, will be one of the top two largest and busiest emergency departments in the nation, serving up to 600 patients per day and 220,000 patients each year, effectively doubling the current trauma and emergency capacity.

Credit: WXIA

“We wanted to make sure it was a facility that not only met the needs when we opened, but also had a flexible facility plan and capability so that we could continue to grow with the community and also apply the innovation that comes from our caregivers every day,” Saunders said. “Every one of us could end up in the emergency department. This can have babies, young children, teenagers, young adults, mid-career, and seniors. So it was important that we looked at all those needs.  I think you're going to see in the design and in the actual facility that we've incorporated all those needs so that we're not only able to meet their health care needs and their more emergency service needs, but also make sure they get that care and compassion that's so important when you're in such a fragile time in your life.”

She said it was very special to have Governor Kemp in attendance for the ribbon cutting, which was also streamed live on Facebook.

“The governor and our first lady were here when it was under construction,” Saunders said. “So having him here today to celebrate with us means a lot, especially during these uncertain times when we're all working together to make sure we're doing the right thing for our community, when they need it and how they need it.”

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