Commercial growth might have slowed in Columbia County, but those at Sports Medicine Associates are excited about their new location.
The orthopedics facility, located in The Village at Crossroads off Jimmy Dyess Parkway, officially opened Jan. 12. Now settled in its new building, SMA will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting event Thursday.
"It's a dream come true," training and education manager Diane Barnard said. "It's something the physicians have wanted to do for some time. We are able to do that now and are absolutely thrilled with the building."
The grand opening event will feature barbecue, music and a tour of the building.
Barnard and practice administrator Trish Kinney expect the facility will be the main draw.
News is broadcast on flat-screen televisions hanging in the waiting room lobby as patients can be seen working out through nearby windows.
Kinney said the flow of the new clinic is much improved from the former facility. There were two X-ray rooms in the old clinic, near Doctors Hospital, replaced by one big room with two sides in the new facility. She said doctors often worked on opposite sides of the old building and had difficulty communicating.
She describes the new clinic as "two hallways interconnected by a staff area."
"The docs can touch base on an ongoing basis throughout the day," Kinney said. "Consultation is just completely easy."
She said the practice had been coveting a new building since the business first opened in Richmond County in 2001. She said the previous building was a renovation that required piece-by-piece additions and struggled to comply with federal patient laws.
The new building features more office space and a conference room large enough for meetings and staff training.
Kinney said the business was attracted to the rapid growth of Columbia County, though the clinic sees patients from throughout the Augusta area, including as far out as Aiken.
"It's been a long time coming," Kinney said.
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