Becoming a health care mecca

A rather depressing statement came out of the mouth of the CEO of Piedmont Healthcare during a breakfast speech earlier this week.

“One-third of Georgians have left our state for health care reasons,” said Kevin Brown, who heads up the hospital chain.

“That was shocking to me,” he added. “In a place as sophisticated as we are, that we’re having that many people leaving our state for health care. We need to be a destination for health care, not only in Coweta but across the state.”

We’re a little bit shocked as well, and also agree we need to become a destination for health care. Let’s face it, people always need health care and will travel out of state if need be. This newspaper recently published an article about how Georgia families are splitting up, with one parent moving to Colorado with a sick child who needs medical marijuana.

Fortunately, Coweta County appears to be becoming a key medical center for the state. And that can only be good economic news for our area.

Piedmont Newnan Hospital has a new state-of-the-art hospital. In his speech, Brown said improving the efficiency of emergency rooms is one of his primary goals. With a future Interstate ramp near the hospital in the works, Piedmont Newnan stands to become a key emergency facility for this area.

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional in Newnan opened in 2012. The facility is now undergoing a new $48 million expansion that will include an additional 121,000 square feet and the remodeling of another 30,000 square feet.

Last month, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Newnan, a 55,000-square-foot facility, had its official groundbreaking. The new facility will create about 120 new jobs, and bring in even more patients and their families who are seeking comprehensive health care.

Currently under construction is a new University of West Georgia campus here in Newnan. Among the extended courses to be offered in the new school are several medical degrees.

In addition, let’s hope the state of Georgia will reverse its decision and approve a Certificate of Need for the proposed Newnan Behavioral Hospital proposed by US Healthvest. The company has appealed the decision and a hearing is set for later this summer.

All of these facilities and many more highlight how Coweta is becoming a medical mecca. Let’s continue to push forward to ensure we maintain that competitive edge in the medical marketplace so people come here for treatment, not leave for lack of it.



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