Special to the Journal
Phoebe Putney Health System broke ground last week on the construction of a $30 million Digestive Diseases Center in Albany.
The facility, being built at Meredyth Place, will expand the hospital’s gastroenterology capabilities and is expected to be complete in 14 months.
“Building this facility at this site creates a non-institutional-like approach to healthcare,” said Joel Wernick, President/CEO of Phoebe Putney Health System. The Health System is expanding healthcare services in Northwest at “a consumer-friendly site” that will include the future expansion of walking trails around the facility.
Site work for the construction of this 85,000-square-foot building began about two months ago, representing Phase 1 of the project. The first phase involved preparing an undeveloped area behind the former Ordinary Coyote for parking. The second phase will take place at the back parking area of Meredyth Place.
“We’re able to reinvest $30 million into a much-needed digestive disease center,” said Wernick.
The construction project will also bring almost 400 construction-related jobs, as well as the recruitment of gastroenterologists to help offset the shortage of these specialized physicians for a disease that is becoming more prevalent in Southwest Georgia.
“There is also an increased need to go upstream with prevention and screenings because the diagnosis of a digestive disease is also a costly diagnosis affecting mostly people 65 and older,” Wernick said.
The Center is being built to meet the needs of a growing prevalence of digestive diseases, particularly cancer of the stomach and colon in this region.
The architectural firm for this project is PageSoutherlandPage. The new facility is being built by Robins & Morton, a general contractor specializing in complex healthcare, commercial, education and industrial projects.Overseeing the Construction Project will be KLMK Group, a leading provider of innovative facility solutions to healthcare owners.