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The Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital is opening on April 13, almost four months early, in an effort to serve the community and make more intensive care unit (ICU) beds available during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release Tuesday.
If necessary, three ICU and acute nursing units, spread over the tower’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors, will be made available, adding a total of 132 additional beds, with 64 designated as ICU beds.
These units will house both COVID-19 positive patients and non-COVID-19 patients.
Originally, the tower, which was made possible through an initial donation of $75 million from Bernie and Billi Marcus via The Marcus Foundation, was set to open Aug. 1, 2020.
“By opening this part of the tower early, we are increasing capacity at a critical time when our community needs it the most,” Patrick Battey, M.D., CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, said in the release.
“Getting these beds ready for patients who may need them during the COVID-19 outbreak was the right thing to do, and I am proud of the staff at Piedmont and our partners on the project who made it happen.”
Piedmont’s project management team, working in concert with its partners Brasfield & Gorrie, CBRE, and HKS have accelerated the completion of these floors and manufacturers have shipped equipment ahead of schedule to achieve this goal.
Crews have worked extended schedules, including over weekends, to get these areas ready for patients. Piedmont Atlanta staff members have worked hard in preparation for the opening as well, creating plans, participating in tours and drills, testing equipment and training to work in the new space.
“Piedmont exists to serve its communities and there is no greater way that we can serve them than by increasing our capacity with this state-of-the-art facility during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Kevin Brown, president and CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, said in the release.
“Because of the great work our team on the project has performed by already being ahead of schedule, we were able to advance the timeline further to open these ICU and acute care units and have them ready in case we need them.”
When the rest of the tower opens in August, it will house the Piedmont Heart Institute, the new Marcus Heart and Vascular Center, the Samsky Invasive Cardiovascular Services Center, and the Shaheen Auditorium.
The 16-story tower will feature technologically-advanced operating rooms, cardiac labs, critical and acute care facilities, and up to 408 beds.
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]