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Northside Hospital merger on track for fall
Northside construction

CUMMING -- Last week, Northside Hospital-Forsyth moved their sign and logo to the top of its building for an expansion, but there are more changes coming.

During a meeting of the Forsyth County Development Authority, member Lynn Jackson, hospital administrator, updated the group on several ongoing improvements, including a merger with Gwinnett Medical Center.

“It’s going well,” she said. “We’re not hitting any roadblocks. It’s just slow-going and still in due diligence. It probably will be through the fall. I don’t think we’ll see anything happen until the fall.”

In September, it was announced that the two hospitals were merging to create a single system across metro Atlanta and north Georgia.

The Northside-Gwinnett Medical combined system would have nearly 1,400 beds, more than 16,000 employees and about 3,500 physicians on staff.

Currently, the Northside Hospital health care system is an 852-bed, nonprofit healthcare provider with more than 150 locations throughout Georgia.

Gwinnett Medical Center sits under parent company Gwinnett Health System, which employs 4,800 associates and has 800 affiliated physicians serving more than 400,000 patients annually.

Jackson said construction has been ongoing at the hospital for a three-floor expansion and a recently opened surgery center.

“[The expansion] will complete us to about 330 beds. We started out in 2002 with 41 beds. There’s been a significant amount of growth in a relatively [short] amount of time in the hospital world,” she said. “We just opened a new surgery center in our [Breast Care Center] building. It had a very robust first month, and we’re very happy about that.”

She said the hospital is also working with the city of Cumming to obtain new property. The entire hospital sits within the city limits, but borders unincorporated county land.

“Right now we’ve got annexation applications in with the city for three new pieces of property,” Jackson said. “We’ll start building a new medical office building. This one will be probably about 130,000 square feet.

“We’re planning for an additional building just after that and probably another one following the campus master plan.”