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Construction cranes have become a familiar part of the landscape at the Northside Hospital Cherokee campus since it opened in 2017.

Northside Hospital Cherokee is preparing for another wave of construction this fall, adding two additional floors to its main tower and expanding various departments within the hospital.

Northside Hospital spokeswoman Katherine Watson said that the construction and expansion of the hospital will add floors nine and 10 to the hospital’s main tower, making enough room to add 53 more inpatient beds for medical/surgical patients, as well as 27 new 23-hour observation beds. Overall, the hospital’s total number of inpatient beds will rise to 211, she said.

Northside Hospital Cherokee CEO Billy Hayes added that the main tower and emergency department are being expanded to add flexibility, meet growing demands, and to provide the best quality healthcare to patients.

“The hospital’s census and utilization has been high and these two floors will allow us more flexibility to meet our current and future demands,” Hayes said. “When Northside Cherokee moved from our old location, we didn’t add any additional ER beds, and since moving to the new location, we have seen tremendous growth, so these additional ER rooms will allow us to see more patients and see them timelier.”

Northside Hospital Cherokee COO Katie Pearson said the construction and expansion project will also include additional storage and pre-op space for surgical services, classroom and educational space, and expansion of the main imaging suite.

“The imaging suite is a department that provides physicians and other health care workers the ability to non-invasively see inside the body,” Pearson said. “A patient can have basic screening activity where we look for potential problems in healthy people, like cancer screenings or diagnostic tests where staff can monitor existing health conditions. The medical team is then able to take the results from the images and draw conclusions that may lead to a diagnosis or direct further studies.”

Pearson added that the imaging suite is expanding to ensure that staff can support the growing community need because it is mostly used for inpatient care, and, on occasion, provides support to outpatient needs in complex situations.

“As the number of beds in our hospital grows, we have to ensure our support services (such as imaging) can meet the growing patient demand,” Pearson said.

Another aspect of the construction is the classroom and educational spaces, which Pearson said will become a part of the day-to-day operations of the hospital.

“As Northside Hospital is dedicated to being a center of excellence in providing high-quality health care, we are constantly providing ongoing education to all our team members,” Pearson said. “Many educational efforts only require an hour or two out of a staff member’s day. In order to provide the most efficient and comprehensive experience, these education rooms allow us to bring staff together during the day to cover new and ongoing health care topics and techniques, as well as discuss how to incorporate them into their daily practice. The rooms also allow staff access to high tech equipment that may otherwise not be available if we had to train offsite. These rooms will be used by all hospital staff, not just clinical.”

Hayes added that the current expansion is needed to meet current demands and, as the community continues to grow, will help the hospital meet future demands as well.

After hours construction on the main tower was approved by the Canton City Council during their Aug. 20 meeting, with an expected start date in early October. Watson said that overall expansion and construction of the hospital is expected to be finished by fall 2021.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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