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Freestanding emergency department in Chattooga County taking shape

Monday, May 15, 2023–10:40 a.m.

-Atrium Health Floyd news release-

Atrium Health Floyd officials have gotten their first in-person look inside what will become a freestanding emergency department (FSED) under construction in Chattooga County. The site was specifically chosen to provide important services for residents in rural areas who have limited access to health care.

When completed, the $18.4 million FSED, located next to Walmart on U.S. Highway 27, 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.

It will be the first freestanding emergency department to be built from the ground up in the state of Georgia. Atrium Health has 9 free-standing emergency departments with two more planned in Charlotte, N.C.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 onsite in Chattooga County during the first week of May.

On Monday, Atrium Health officials were able to walk through part of the structure, seeing how the facility is coming together. Atrium Health Floyd President Kurt Stuenkel was among those getting an up-close look at the building.

“This whole process is fascinating,” Stuenkel said. “The specifications on how these all fit together are so exact. It is amazing to know they were built somewhere else and then assembled here. The assembled building is solid and sturdy.”

In September, 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.

When appropriate, Atrium Health Floyd EMS will take Chattooga County patients to the FSED. Also, Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center in Rome is home to the region’s only state-designated Level II Trauma Center and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In June 2022, the hospital officially opened a helipad at the hospital that will help trauma patients receive lifesaving treatment more quickly.

Quick facts about the project:

  • The project consists of 14 modules and 5 roof racks, with each module fitting on one tractor trailer and delivered to the site.
  • 450 yards of concrete was placed in the foundation weighing 67,500 pounds.
  • Single-story building will include 10,884 square feet single with 1 triage, 1 rapid medical exam (with a total of 3 beds), 6 exam rooms including 1 trauma room, 1 patient of size room, 1 ligature resistant room, and 1 isolation room.
  • Site work and linking modules performed by Brasfield & Gorrie.
  • 93 exterior panels for the exterior of the building are also prefabricated.
  • 8,000 yards of topsoil are required. Excess topsoil was donated to the city of Summerville for youth ballfields.