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Piedmont Athens Patient Tower Opens with Community Ribbon Cutting

Athens, Ga. (April 21, 2022)--Piedmont leaders, foundation donors, elected officials, along with members of the community gathered on Thursday to celebrate the completion of Piedmont Athens Regional’s new $194 million patient tower.

Part of a larger renovation and expansion project designed by SmithGroup and Trinity and executed by BDR Partners and DPR Construction, the nearly 229,000 square-foot tower is designed to serve as a physical and healing connection to the surrounding Athens community and allow for greater integration of care for patients who are part of Piedmont’s east clinical hub.

“We are excited to welcome the community to Piedmont Athens and to the new patient tower,” said Piedmont Athens Chief Executive Officer Michael Burnett. “We exist to serve Athens and surrounding communities and there is no greater way we can do that than by continuing to grow, innovate, and enhance access to care for everyone.” 

Construction was divided into two phases and kicked off in October 2018. Phase one included the addition of a new patient floor on the hospital’s existing Prince Tower Two. Phase two included the demolition of the 100-year old 1919 Tower and construction of a state-of-the-art patient tower. 

In addition to 128 modernized inpatient rooms, the new tower includes the Classic City Café, the Pink Posy gift shop, a retail pharmacy, the Sacred Space, a patient and family resource center, as well as inpatient and outpatient clinical program support areas.

The design of the tower emphasizes the feeling of connection, with the placement of outdoor courtyards and designated community spaces strategically within the building, as well as incorporating natural elements to encourage wellness for hospital staff, visitors, and patients. 

“With our design and construction partners, we have created spaces that promote healing for the patients we care for, the visitors and families we comfort, and the staff that provide that compassionate care and comfort,” said Burnett. “We are changing lives at Piedmont and opening this new space will help us to continue delivering on that.”

Construction of the new tower was supported by individual and corporate donations to the Piedmont Athens Regional Foundation for spaces within and surrounding the tower such as visitors’ lounges, patient rooms, garden pods, sacred space and courtyard, the entry plaza, main lobby and more. The project offered the largest naming opportunity in the history of the foundation, and the new tower features areas including the Massey Plaza entrance, Townley Family Lobby, Synovus Community Room, University Vascular Courtyard, and Jack Tarver Family Courtyard, just to name a few of the many areas generously given by members of the community. Donors contributed more than $2.6 million towards enhancements that create an environment that promotes healing and connection.

“Philanthropy has played an enormous part in the success of Piedmont Athens Regional and this project is no exception,” said Executive Director for the Piedmont Athens Regional Foundation Steven Dasher. “We are grateful for the generosity of supporters who are helping to transform health care in our community.”

Piedmont Athens Regional serves patients from a 17-county region including Oconee, Oglethorpe, Madison, Jackson, Barrow, Walton, Morgan, Greene, Tailaferro, Wilkes, Elbert, Hart, Franklin, Banks, Stephens, and Habersham counties. Piedmont Athens has garnered national acclaim in providing care close to home: in patient experience, comprehensive cardiac care including open heart and thoracic surgery, orthopedics, neurosciences, minimally invasive surgeries, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, oncology and gastroenterology. Piedmont Athens is a Georgia Affiliate for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and is the official health care provider for the University of Georgia Athletic Association.

Diane Altman, executive director of operations at Piedmont Athens Regional, served as the executive lead and sponsor for the project for Piedmont. “For more than 100 years Piedmont Athens has provided safe, high-quality health care for communities across northeast Georgia,” said Altman. “The new patient tower allows us to meet our goal of improving patient access to modernized care while creating a beautiful space for our patients, visitors and staff.”

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