(Editor’s note: The following article appeared recently in the Marietta Daily Journal. CDH Partners is the architectural design firm for this new health park facility.)
VININGS — WellStar Health System plans to open a three-story $77 million outpatient facility in Vinings in the fall of 2017.
Construction on the 162,000-square-foot facility near the intersection of Atlanta Road and Cumberland Parkway is expected to begin in early 2016.
It will be about two miles from Emory-Adventist Hospital, which closed around this time last year.
Joe Brywczynski, WellStar’s senior vice president of health parks development, said the health park being built on a 25-acre property will bring outpatient and physician services directly to the community.
“I think most people that know health care know that most of the growth over the last five years, and again projected into the next five years, has been on the outpatient side of health care,” Brywczynski said. “Technology, managed care — everything is kind of forcing things into a lower cost, more convenient setting.”
The company’s third health park in the county behind facilities in Acworth and east Cobb, WellStar Vinings Health Park is expected to offer an imaging center, urgent care, a sleep center, outpatient surgery, a bistro, physical therapy services, a community education and wellness center and more with a hotel-like design.
The first health park opened in Acworth three years ago, followed by east Cobb’s facility last year.
The Acworth health park has seen patient visits grow from 107,000 in its first year to 172,000 this year, while the east Cobb facility has grown from 128,000 patient visits in its first year with projections of 170,000 this year.
“There’s been tremendous growth and (community) acceptance at both facilities,” Brywczynski said.
Brywczynski said the area was chosen as the next health park location because of its high population density: The city has an estimated population of 51,270, according to U.S. Census numbers.
“We were hearing from consumers that they were having to take a day off work, or they were having to take kids out of school for a day, just traveling around for an x-ray, lab work, pharmacy or physician visit with travel, drive time and services spread throughout the entire community,” Brywczynski said. “So having services in one place, easy parking, in-and-out kind of services is a real advantage we think we have with the entire strategy.”
Mayor Max Bacon said he thinks the health park is a much-needed addition to the area.
“It’ll be great for our residents,” Bacon said. “If they have to use it, it’ll be there.”
Bacon said he liked that WellStar pledged to employ local people for the project.
“They’ve always been really good to give back to the community. They really have a commitment,” he said. “They don’t just come to take, they give.”
WellStar has also announced its plans for a facility in Cherokee County six months after the Vinings project is complete.