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Friday, February 3, 2012

Tanner breaks ground on Wedowee facility

 Officials from Tanner Health System and several other local agencies broke ground Dec. 7, 2011 on the new Tanner/East Alabama medical complex in Wedowee, Ala.

Dignitaries from the Randolph County and Wedowee hospital authorities, physicians and advanced practice providers, local elected leaders, members of the board for the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, planning commissioners and others participated in the groundbreaking, held on the site where the facility will be constructed along South Main Street in Wedowee, across from the Randolph County Department of Human Resources.

“As a community healthcare provider, Tanner understands the importance of making sure great health care is available close to home,” Tanner President and CEO Loy Howard said at the event. “This facility will continue Tanner’s commitment to the residents of east Alabama.”

Tanner already operates Woodland Family Healthcare, the practice of Jeff Stewart, MD, and Gregory Hopkins, MD, as a Tanner Medical Group practice. The health system owns a site in Heflin it plans to develop into a primary care medical practice as well.

Tanner/East Alabama will be a multi-phase build-out, starting with a 26,000-square-foot, two-story medical office building that will be built this winter. It will be constructed on more than 15 acres of property in Wedowee that the health system purchased several years ago. The strategic significance of the site will allow Tanner to continue developing more resources on the property, with the impending construction being the first of a planned multi-phase build-out at the location.

The location is central to all the residents of Randolph County and is accessible for residents in Cleburne County as well, which is an important aspect of Tanner’s plans to develop medical services in this part of Alabama.

Tanner/East Alabama will offer a Tanner Immediate Care location, offering care for minor medical emergencies and a variety of other important health services, as well as a primary care medical practice staffed by physicians to provide sick and preventive care for the whole family and space for various medical specialists to rotate through, including cardiologists, oncologists, surgeons and others.

“I enjoy history, and so when I asked former hospital administrators why the decision was made to build a hospital in Wedowee, their answer was simple: the people wanted it,” Richard Daniel, CRNP, a nurse practitioner and administrator of Wedowee Hospital, told those gathered for the groundbreaking. “Having health care available locally has always been a priority for this community. With Tanner in the community, we’re going to have not only great primary care services here, but access to specialists and more that we’ve never had in Wedowee before.”

In an invocation delivered by the Rev. Russell Hestley, the senior pastor at Wedowee First United Methodist Church prayed that people would find “mercy and compassion inside these walls.”

Howard said that he envisioned the partnership with Wedowee Hospital and the Randolph County community progressing much like Tanner’s has with Higgins General Hospital and the city of Bremen, with a continued and sustained investment that will provide leading-edge medical care to the area’s residents.

“The community is at the center of everything we do,” said Howard. “We’re going to be here to make sure that people have access to care.”

Tanner Health System is a nonprofit, regional healthcare provider serving west Georgia and east Alabama. Tanner facilities include Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, Higgins General Hospital in Bremen and the inpatient behavioral health facility Willowbrooke at Tanner in Villa Rica. Tanner also operates Tanner Medical Group, one of metro Atlanta’s largest multi-specialty physician groups.

To find a physician on Tanner’s medical staff, call 770.214.CARE or click the “Find a Doctor” button on http://www.tanner.org/.

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