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Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital Opens on Permanent Basis Today, 17 Days Early, as Part of Pandemic Response

Atlanta (July 15, 2020) – The Marcus Tower at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital opened today on a permanent basis, 17 days ahead of schedule, as part of Piedmont Healthcare’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our mission as a nonprofit healthcare system is to serve patients in our communities and the new Marcus Tower will incorporate the latest technology and larger patient rooms to provide for enhanced care, among numerous other benefits,” Piedmont Healthcare President and CEO Kevin Brown said. “Opening the tower early will help to meet the needs of our communities – and all Georgians – and provide the highest quality of care possible.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Piedmont has aggressively planned for ways to increase capacity across its system to accommodate for the anticipated increase in patients requiring a higher level of care. As has been reported widely, COVID-19 cases are now increasing in Georgia and across other parts of the country.

Today, patients from the third floor of the existing Piedmont Atlanta Hospital were moved into the Marcus Tower. This created additional capacity for patients who will be treated in that vacated third floor space. In addition, the agreement with the state calls for the possibility of an additional 40 more beds, as the need for such capacity dictates. The beds will be staffed by physicians and other personnel provided by the state. All other processes and visitor policies will be in line with those of Piedmont Atlanta.

“I'm very grateful to Kevin Brown and the entire Piedmont Healthcare team for their willingness to partner with the state of Georgia and provide this critical resource to patients and surrounding hospitals,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “These hospital beds will provide additional surge capacity for healthcare facilities in metro-Atlanta and ensure COVID-19 patients receive the essential care they need.”

The tower was made possible through an initial donation of $75 million from Bernie and Billi Marcus via The Marcus Foundation. Local philanthropists Brett and Louise Samsky and their son Connor have made an $18 million donation to establish the tower’s Brett and Louise Samsky Lobby and the Samsky Invasive Cardiovascular Services Center.

“Piedmont’s project management team and our employees have done an incredible job in opening the tower early not once but twice,” said Patrick Battey, M.D., CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “Their dedication to providing greater care for the patients of metro Atlanta and beyond is something that all of us can truly be proud of.”

In April, Piedmont opened several nursing units in the tower for a two-week period to treat COVID-19 patients during that surge. Piedmont was able to activate the tower early thanks in part to a $1 million gift from Rooms to Go Founder, President and CEO Jeff Seaman. When patient volumes decreased, Piedmont Atlanta closed these units, something hospitals often do with nursing units as demand fluctuates, so that Piedmont could finalize construction.

Piedmont’s purpose is to make a positive difference in every life we touch and we could not do this without the unwavering support and commitment of our community, our leaders, donors, patients and especially our staff on the front-line and beyond.

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