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Northside marks 40 years
Center adds three stories; next project looms larger
Hospital Expands 6 es
Fran Pickering slices cake Tuesday at Northside Hospital-Forsyth as employees celebrated the 40th anniversary of the hospital system. The local campus continues to expand, with the recent addition of three floors to the surgical center. An even larger project is on the horizon. - photo by Emily Saunders
The 40th anniversary of Northside Hospital was greeted with cake and celebration Tuesday.

In so doing, the company’s three community hospitals and 29 outpatient service locations also reflected on the progress since the first patient in 1970.

Northside Hospital-Forsyth is no exception to growth, having tripled in size since it was first acquired from Baptist North Hospital in 2002.

The Forsyth campus of Northside has continued the expansion efforts with the recent addition of three floors to the surgical center.

The new levels, which bring the facility to five stories, have increased patient capacity to keep pace with rising demand.

The surgical center’s fifth floor, which opened in late March, is dedicated to the oncology unit, said hospital spokesman Russ Davis.

By the end of the year, the 1100 Medical Office Building will include a radiation therapy service facility.

Once complete, the local campus will provide a full array of cancer treatment services, Davis said.

“That will pretty much round out and provide a comprehensive cancer program at Northside Hospital-Forsyth,” he said. “We’re making access to those services more convenient for those in the ... area.”

The oncology floor has 16 private rooms for patients.

Fifth floor manager Amy Yost said the goal is to provide room not only for patients but also their families.

“One of the things we wanted to make sure we had was a place for the families,” she said. “We have oncology patients that really need to have their families with them as part of their planned care, so we built a family area over here where the family has a place to sleep and store their belongings.

“Patients love it. If you’re going to spend the night in the hospital for weeks on end, you want to be comfortable.”

The fourth floor is dedicated to orthopedics and bariatrics. The design of the 16-bed inpatient unit mirrors that of the fifth floor.

The third floor offers 20 beds for extended recovery and catering to patients who may need a night to recover from minor surgery.

It also is home to the infusion center, a 16-bay private area for patients undergoing a blood transfusion, chemotherapy or other procedures.
Patients can watch TV or chat with family while waiting.

“There is a multitude of things that patients need that don’t really require hospitalization for it,” said Niti Patel, manager. “So they can come here, get their treatments, get to feeling better and then go home.

Yost said feedback from patients has been positive in just the few months since the new facilities opened.

“The construction and design of the fourth floor and fifth floor lends itself to No. 1 patient safety and I think a level of comfort for the patients and their families,” she said.

“Also, it has definitely improved the work flow for the nurses that are working in that area. It’s very conducive to taking care of patients the way they need to be taken care of.”

The expansion won’t stop with the surgical center.

By mid-October, the hospital will learn whether its $51 million renovation and expansion plan has met with approval from the Georgia Department of Community Health.

If the certificate of need is approved, the hospital will add about 100,000 square feet, enhanced services and as many as 200 employees.

While the main Northside Hospital campus is celebrating 40 years, Davis is looking to see how much the Forsyth campus will change by the 50th anniversary.

In just five years, Davis said the inpatient use of the Forsyth campus likely will increase more than 50 percent.

“We’re constantly in a state of strategic planning for that campus because the growth and utilization continues to be so strong,” he said. “So stay tuned.”