Atrium Health Floyd and the construction team had a mini celebration Wednesday as Chattooga County’s freestanding emergency department located next to Walmart on U.S. 27 is nearing completion.
The “stitching party” recognizes when all the exterior components of the facility are in place and sealed. When finished, the $18.4 million FSED will serve residents in Chattooga County and portions of Walker County and northeast Alabama. The facility will include six treatment rooms along with onsite laboratory and imaging services, including x-ray and a computed tomography (CT) scanner.
The 10,884-square-foot facility will also be home to a new mobile mammography unit to ensure more women have convenient access to lifesaving breast cancer screenings. A helipad will also be located on-site, providing quick access to Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center, the only Level II trauma center in northwest Georgia.
“There is no doubt this facility will save lives,” said Atrium Health Floyd President Kurt Stuenkel. “Some Chattooga County patients currently have to travel an hour or more get to an emergency department. The opening of this facility will officially start a new era of quality health care in Chattooga County, linking close-to-home emergency care to the region’s only Level II Trauma Center.” Stuenkel said the FSED is expected to be operational this fall.
Adam Wheeler, senior project manager with Brasfield & Gorrie called Wednesday’s event a “stitching party” instead of topping off event that sometimes occurs when construction projects are completed. That’s because the modules for the facility are stitched together after arriving onsite.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to build this project,” Wheeler said. Stuenkel credited Chattooga County Commissioner Blake Elsberry for helping make the project a reality. “Blake said his county needs this,” Stuenkel said. “It really grew out of his concern for people in this region,” Stuenkel added.
It will be the first freestanding emergency department to be built from the ground up in the state of Georgia. It is unique for one to be built in a rural area. The FSED is expected to employ an estimated 44 people once open this fall.The facility features modules pre-assembled by Bessemer, Alabama, based BLOX. Those modules began arriving onsitein Chattooga County during the first week of May.
In September 2022, Atrium Health Floyd EMS became the official ambulance service provider in Chattooga County, positioning five ambulances across the county with 35 teammates. The service represents more than a $1 million investment in new vehicles and equipment.