An inside look at Grady's largest investment in 30 years

Atlanta-based Grady Health System is weeks away from wrapping construction on its 600,000-square-foot Correll Pavilion — a project that will expand the hospital's clinic capacity by 45 percent and increase total operating room volume by 25 percent. 

The Correll Pavilion will house six operating rooms — with the ability to move up to eight —  four endoscopy rooms, outpatient clinics, the cancer center, imaging, rehab, pharmacy, lab services and support spaces. It is the health system's largest investment in 30 years, from both a dollar and square-footage perspective, according to Shannon Sale, Grady's chief strategy officer. 

Ms. Sale connected with Becker's to share an inside look at the pavilion's capabilities and purpose. 

The planning process began in 2017 with the goal of increasing capacity and access, Ms. Sale said. Grady currently has one OR platform, so all ambulatory, inpatient and trauma surgeries happen in the same place. Additionally, its surgical clinics are located throughout the main hospital buildings, and are somewhat challenging for patients to get to, according to Ms. Sale. 

"If you go into the hospital for an ambulatory visit, you take a lot of steps, a lot of elevators," Ms. Sale said. "So we wanted to pull those surgical programs into one location with easy access." 

Grady's cancer center had also outgrown its space on the main campus, Ms. Sale said. Moving it elsewhere would allow the program to grow while freeing up inpatient beds at the primary facility. That space is much needed after the closure of Atlanta Medical Center, which left Grady the area's only level 1 trauma center. 

Ms. Sale said the need to get the pavilion up and running assumed a greater focus after the announcement of Atlanta Medical Center's closure. Grady had originally planned to backfill the space freed by the cancer center with one general surgery unit and one critical care unit, but given the recent increase in high-acuity trauma volume, they decided to program all those beds for critical care. 

The pavilion will have "state-of-the-art" operating rooms, with the "latest and greatest" imaging equipment, according to Ms. Sale. It has the specific lighting and tools needed to perform innovative surgeries, but patient experience, not technology, drove the planning process. 

The cancer center has a patient family advisory council that provided feedback on floor plans to help guide the planning process, Ms. Sale said. Patient experience was at the heart of the project, with special consideration given to the building's efficiency, privacy and clinician access. 

The Correll Pavilion will enhance the community's health, Ms. Sale said, and it would not be possible without the support of the community itself. 

"This all came about by virtue of partnerships," Ms. Sale said. "The county issued bonds that they will repay, and our philanthropic community raised about $100 million to support this. On the Grady side, we were also able to secure New Markets Tax Credits and we'll have a cash contribution."

"So it's really everyone coming together to make sure that this happens." 

The pavilion is set to open during the first week of February, with existing services moving over across a three-week period. 

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