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NGHS breaks ground on new hospital in Lumpkin County
NGHS President & CEO Carol Burrell speaks at the new hospital groundbreaking ceremony in Lumpkin County on June 22.

Surrounded by government and health care officials, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Lumpkin’s Interim President, Sonja McLendon, called the new planned hospital facility “truly a community effort.”  

 The new facility on 57 acres at the intersection of Ga. 400 and Ga. 60 is expected to open in fall 2023, though supply chain-related delays could push back its opening until early 2024. NGMC Lumpkin’s current campus is at 227 Mountain Drive in Dahlonega. 

Plans for the new site began back in 2019 and were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It obviously takes much more than a village to make something like this happen,” McLendon said, praising the efforts of health care providers, hospital workers and various community officials and members.  

The first iteration of the new Lumpkin campus is expected to bring around 150 jobs to the area, and it will be proximate to NGMC Gainesville, a Level 2 trauma center. 

Plans for the hospital include 16 hospital rooms for patients, said  NGHS Board Chair Spence Price.  

The emergency area will have 10 treatment rooms, four observation rooms and a separate entrance and exit. Surgery services will include three operating rooms and orthopedic, sports medicine and general surgery focuses. 

There will also be a cafe and dining area, a lab and pharmacy. Specialized services will be offered in cardiology, psychology, pulmonology, neurology and nephrology, Price said.  

“Very importantly, this hospital has been designed to grow and expand as the surrounding community grows,” he added.“We know now, more than ever, that a hospital is vital to every community.” 

Price compared the helpfulness of NGMC Lumpkin to the abundance in the area going back two centuries, and he hopes that abundance will continue.  

“It's the people and the culture that will attract not only the right physicians and nurses, but also the businesses that will depend on excellent health care for their employees,” he said. “NGMC 

Lumpkin will be a gem and asset for this bustling Ga. 400 corridor for years and years to come.” 

NGHS President & CEO Carol Burrell described the hospital in Lumpkin as “an important part of the community for the past 45 years,” from its inception in 1976 to its stint as Chestatee Regional Hospital and its closing and rebranding to become the current medical center. 

Rather than permanently join a trend of what Burrell called “rural hospitals closing throughout the nation,” she recounted how a mix of leaders in state government, the University of North Georgia and other community members galvanized around the goal of bringing the hospital back to life.  

Then in 2019, the current facility reopened as NGMC Lumpkin under the banner of NGHS. Now, Burrell said their ownership “won’t change like it has been” and is here to stay.