MARIETTA — WellStar Kennestone Hospital’s new $126 million emergency department is growing by the day and is on track to open in the spring of 2020.
The Cobb Community Foundation in conjunction with the hospital recently gave a sneak peek tour of the new four-story, 162,000-square-foot emergency department under construction across Church Street from the existing hospital.
CCF donors, board members and guests received an update from Mary Chatman, president of Kennestone Hospital, Richard Kulik, project manager, and other key hospital personnel on the progress of the project and the new offerings in patient care the facility will bring.
When the new emergency department first opens, it will accommodate up to 185,000 patients per year, and that number will go up to 220,000 when work is complete.
That would place Kennestone higher up the list of the busiest emergency departments in the U.S.
Data published annually by Becker’s Healthcare shows Kennestone was eighth in the country with 140,373 visits in 2017, when the Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Florida topped the list with 210,020.
Kennestone currently provides health care to more patients than any other hospital in Georgia and is fifth in the nation for the number of patients treated.
Its upgraded facilities will also come with new medical devices and scanners and separate areas for juveniles, adults and patients with behavioral health needs.
Marietta Councilman Johnny Walker told the MDJ on Friday the new development looks to become “one of the finest in the nation” and constituents have not been complaining about the construction despite some associated traffic delays.
“I would hope it’s something that the community can be proud of,” Walker said. “I think the progress has been quick and every time I drive by it seems to be further along.”
Walker is unsure how traffic in the area will be affected once the new emergency department is open and treating more than 200,000 people annually.
“I’m sure we will have to make some adjustments if possible. But the people have been kind of quiet, I’ve not heard many complaints about it.”