More doctors means a stronger arsenal to attract new employers to Columbia County, economic developers said while dedicating an $8.7 million medical professional building in Evans.
Members of the Marionneaux family check out the aquarium in the lobby of the Family Physicians of Evans office during an open-house tour. The tour was held after the dedication of University Hospital's new medical building on North Belair Road.
Photo by Vicky Eckenrode
Though Columbia County still lacks an emergency room, the number of private-practice physicians is growing.
"You've given us on the development authority a great recruiting tool," Development Authority of Columbia County Chairman Bill Coleman told officials from Doctors Hospital.
On July 19, the west Augusta hospital dedicated the newest addition to its Evans campus on North Belair Road - a 60,000-square-foot building that is nearly fully occupied with physician offices.
The building, which opened several months ago, already has nine groups practicing, including a pharmacy. The rest of the building is scheduled to be occupied by five more physician groups as soon as their spaces are finished.
The University Hospital property also has a sleep center, a prompt-care minor treatment center and occupational medicine services, and a nursing home operating near the intersection of Hereford Farm Road.
And hospital officials said they are not done building up the land they began buying nearly 20 years ago.
"We're looking at yet another professional office building to go onto this campus," said J. Larry Read, the president and CEO of University Heath Care System. We're also anticipating having an imaging center out here before that, and we'll be taking that program to our board of directors in the next several months, starting the certificate of need process."
The dedication ceremony drew a crowd of about 300 people, including physicians, county leaders and hospital officials.
It also featured an open tour of the building's physician offices and was held to coincide with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce's regular after-work networking event.
"We welcome what they do in this county because it's always with success and for the betterment of the county," chamber Chairman Wayne Bridges said about University Hospital's growing activity.
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