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The History and Future of Kennestone Hospital
When Kennestone Hospital opened in 1950, it was one of the first integrated hospitals in Cobb County. The hospital was named after the two Georgia landmarks patients could see from the windows: Kennesaw Mountain and Stone Mountain. Since it’s opening, Kennestone — now called WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center — has aimed to offer citizens of Cobb County and metro Atlanta the highest quality of medical care.
What’s Going On at Kennestone Hospital?
Kennestone is home to Georgia’s business emergency department, and in 2018, the hospital broke ground on a $126 million expansion on a new emergency department, set to be complete in spring 2020. The current ED was designed to treat 60,000 patients a year. In 2017, Kennestone’s ED treated 145,000 patients, making it the fifth busiest ED in the country. This expansion is a long time coming.
The new four-story building, which will connect to the existing building through a second-story walkway, is nearly quadruple the size of the old ED. The hospital administration claims the expansion will be able to handle between 185,000 and 220,000 emergency visits annually, which would give Kennestone the second highest volume of visits in the U.S.
This expansion aims to do more than increase the number of patients the hospital can serve. Mary Chatman, president of Kennestone Hospital, has discussed an emphasis on improving patient experience across the board. One special feature included in the new expansion will be a separate entrance into the emergency department for kids.
“Our current ED is pretty scary sometimes for children in that everyone comes through that same front door,” said Chatman. “In this new ED, (children) will come through a separate door and … their family is able to travel with them and even stay in the room with them. The rooms are large enough that if you have mom and dad and three siblings, they all are able to go in there and see what’s happening and calm the child.”
For almost 70 years, Kennestone Hospital has served our community well. We’re pleased to see the hospital taking steps to improve their facilities so they can continue to serve Cobb County for generations to come.