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Athens Resident Donates to Hospital’s New Patient Tower in Memory of Parents

Athens, Ga. (Oct. 15, 2020) – Long-time Athens resident Julie Massey Jenkins recently donated to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center’s new tower in memory of her parents, Juliette and Henry Massey. Jenkins has always been a big supporter of Piedmont Athens Regional, whether it be as a patient, visitor or participant in the hospital’s fundraising events. 

“The hospital has always had a special place in my heart,” Jenkins said. “I was born there, and it’s the place that cared for both my parents before they passed away.” So, Jenkins took the appreciation she felt for her community hospital and put it to work.

She began attending fundraising events with the Piedmont Athens Regional Foundation and assisted with fundraising of her own, helping support initiatives like the hospital’s Loran Smith Center for Cancer Support, which provides free cancer support services to anyone in the Athens areas regardless of where they received their cancer treatment.

When Jenkins learned Piedmont Athens Regional kicked off a renovation and expansion project, which started in October 2018, she knew she wanted to help.

“I attended the groundbreaking event at the hospital, and seeing and learning how the hospital was upgrading for the future, making it much more patient- and visitor-friendly, made me really excited,” Jenkins said.

The groundbreaking ceremony, which took place in January, served as the first of many milestones for the hospital’s new tower. Jenkins joined hundreds of attendees at the ceremony, who welcomed the tower to come and said goodbye to a 100-year-old tower that was part of the hospital’s original development.

Projected to be completed in 2022, the seven-story tower will stand six floors high, with one basement level. With the new tower comes new technology, new patient rooms and new opportunities for growth.

As Jenkins learned more about the tower to come and its features, she came up with the idea of donating something in memory of her parents, Juliette and Henry Massey.  

“My father passed away from colorectal cancer, and the hospital took such great care of him when he had to visit for surgery and other procedures or visits,” said Jenkins. “My mother was also treated for cancer at Piedmont Athens Regional – she had breast cancer – and this hospital was the place she passed away. The hospital staff and the care they provided my parents will always mean a lot to me. I just wanted to give back to the place that took such good care of my family.”

Knowing how stressful driving up to a hospital can be, Jenkins decided to donate $100,000 to the tower’s plaza, or the drive-up area that will serve as the main hospital entrance.  

“We’ll be naming this entrance the Massey Plaza, after my parents,” Jenkins said. Her parents’ names will also be included on a dedication wall in the hospital once the tower’s complete.

Like the hospital’s previous drive-up entrance on Talmadge Drive, the new entrance will also include a covered drive-up and drop-off area for patients and visitors. The new entrance, however, will be more spacious and easier to navigate, with plenty of space for multiple cars to pull in at one time as visitors wait for loved ones, a feature that wasn’t assessible with the previous drive-up area. This entrance opens up to the new tower’s atrium or the first floor, which will feature a retail pharmacy, gift shop and café with a covered patio area.

“These improvements are going to be a great addition to the hospital’s campus,” Jenkins said. “I hope the Massey Plaza brings peace and comfort to people who are nervous about coming in for tests and procedures.”

For more information about Piedmont Athens Regional’s construction and renovation project or for donation opportunities, visit PiedmontAthensGive.org.

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