$110 million expansion to Saint Francis Hospital - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

$110 million expansion to Saint Francis Hospital

by Roslyn Giles  - email | bio

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Saint Francis Hospital will look completely different by the end of 2011. That's when hospital administrators say a major makeover with a price tag of $110 million is expected to be finished.

Robert Granger, President and CEO of Saint Francis, announced the mega renovation and expansion project today in front of about 75 people who attended the announcement in the hospital's atrium.  "The decision we're making today will have a lasting impact on our community for generations to come," says Granger.

Some of the improvements include a new clinical tower, additional private rooms, a Cardiac Catheterization Lab with 4 cath labs, 1 special procedures room, 1 nuclear med room, 2 stress test rooms and a 324-seat auditorium and lecture hall among others.

Dr. Rai Chhokar, a cardiologist at Saint Francis, says she's excited about the new additions. "People who have irregular heart rates, those are the people we will be treating here rather than going to Atlanta," says Chhokar.

The project will create 150 new jobs adding 7 t0 10 million dollars in payroll and benefits expense to the hospital's budget, according to Granger.   Patient s will see an immediate impact with a shorter wait time in the ER, also less hassle with finding a park now that 400 additional spaces will be added to the campus.

Money to fund the project will come from several resources.  $75 million will be borrowed, $25 million from Saint Francis' reserves and the balance from community support.  Construction is set to begin in spring and completed by the end of 2011. 

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