Surgical services staff at Higgins General Hospital in Bremen have put in some long hours and moved some heavy loads these past few days, but no one seemed to mind; the work was the last step in bringing the hospital’s new, state-of-the-art operating suites online.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Tara Southerland, RN, a registered nurse and team lead for the surgical services unit at Higgins General Hospital. “We really need the extra space, and we’re excited about moving into the new operating suites.”
While much of the facility has been renovated and upgraded since becoming part of the Carrollton-based Tanner Health System, Southerland said the last time the hospital had seen a significant upgrade in its surgical services facilities was in 2000 — about 18 years ago.
The surgical services expansion project is unfolding in two phases, with the first requiring the new construction of the three new operating suites that came online this week.
For the second phase of the expansion, crews will begin work in the hospital’s former operating suites, converting those into the surgery center’s new pre-op and post-op area. The renovated space will also add a new waiting room for surgical patients and their loved ones, a new locker room for staff and more.
Along with the new operating suites, the expansion will outfit Higgins General Hospital with a new special procedures lab and a new endoscopic suite, as well as a new post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) and new short stay rooms. The total cost of the project is about $11 million, and construction on both phases is expected to be complete later this year.
The surgical services unit at Higgins General Hospital provides a wide range of services, from gastroenterology screenings like colonoscopies to general surgical services, plastic surgery, ear, nose and throat care, eye surgery and more.
“We’re a very busy surgical unit for a hospital our size,” said Bonnie Boles, MD, MBA, administrator for Higgins General Hospital and Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica. “Being part of Tanner, we have a medical staff of 300 physicians, many of whom offer advanced, minimally invasive surgical care. These new operating suites ensure that we’ll have the resources to extend that care to our neighbors for years to come.”
For more information on the surgical care available through Tanner Health System, visit SurgeryAtTanner.org.