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Open house opens eyes
Families pleased with look at facility
Childrens 1
Kendall Baker, 4, hugs Children's Healthcare of Atlanta mascot Will during an open house at the organization's local facility. - photo by Crystal Ledford

On the Net
For more information about Children’s Healthcare of Forsyth, visit

About 200 adults and 300 children endured scorching temperatures to visit Children’s Healthcare of Forsyth during a community open house Sunday.

The northernmost site of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the 20,000-square-foot-facility is at The Avenue Forsyth on Peachtree Parkway. It will open to patients June 1.

Beth Buursema, community outreach liaison with Children’s, said she and other leaders of the facility “were thrilled” with the turnout.

“[We’re] grateful that so many families took the time to come and see what Children’s Healthcare has to offer,” she said.

The community open house event featured several outdoor activities. Among the offerings were inflatables and free concessions from vendors at the outdoor mall.

There were also tours of a Children’s Healthcare ambulance, an adult ambulance and Forsyth County Sheriff’s and fire department vehicles.

“We’re all one health care community, so we wanted to invite all our county emergency service groups today,” said Linda Cole, vice president of ambulatory and emergency services.

Added Buursema: “[Other Forsyth emergency agencies] have been so supportive of us ... having them take part in this day was not only a treat for the children and families, but also a great demonstration of how well we all work together for the good of the community.”

Inside activities included face painting for children, as well body mass index and scoliosis screenings.

The facility’s “telemedicine” capabilities were also demonstrated. This technology allows Children’s physicians to video conference with other physicians and health care workers around the state.

Parents at Sunday’s event welcomed the facility.

“We’re very happy to have this here,” said Jeff Lancaster, father of three sons ages 3, 4 and 6. “We’ve been driving down to Mansell [Road in Alpharetta]. It’ll be very, very nice to have this here in Forsyth.”

Marie Stephens, mother of a nearly 3-year-old daughter said it is a “beautiful facility and we’re glad it’s here.”

Buursema said staff members, the majority of whom live in Forsyth, are “counting down the days” until the facility opens to patients.

“They’re looking forward to being able to care for the children in their community,” she said.

“It was a treat for them to meet so many wonderful families on a fun day instead of when their children are sick.”